I just returned from a much needed Las Vegas weekend from heaven. I was staying at a beautiful hotel on the strip with my boyfriend and watched my favorite band Rammstein’s epic performance go up in flames (in the best of ways). It was a long holiday weekend and spirits were high.
I was quietly excited for our final night. I had it all planned — the outfit, the outdoor bar, the fireworks show at 9. I was so proud of my wishy-washy self for actually stepping up and choosing these little details. It was going to be the perfect ending to a most awesome weekend.
It’s 6pm and I’m freshly showered and putting on a dress, which is a pretty big deal for me.
Then something unexpected unfolds. Nothing necessarily “bad”, but by 7pm I’m realizing there’s a chance that my plans might not be happening.
It’s 7:19 and I’m in denial.
By 8pm I’m changing back into my pajamas, sitting alone at the hotel room desk overlooking the gaudy lights and the little twinkles stretching into the dark desert expanse.
I felt disappointment. I felt upset at my disappointment. I felt it was unfair. I felt selfish for feeling that way. I felt it should be ok, but it didn’t feel ok.
I also knew that according to the Art of Self-Creation, I was creating this feeling, this emotional experience.
I knew that I was arguing with reality and creating an unhappy experience.
“Ok, what am I really working with here,” I asked myself aloud in reluctant monotone. “What’s the truth?”
I let my mind narrow in on the raw facts of the situation instead of the emotional stories I was telling myself about the facts. “The true reality is that I’m on my own tonight. I’m here in Vegas. I’m in a hotel room.”
For a moment I looked around without my thoughts clouding my vision for the first time. There was the soft hum of the AC. My feet cushy within my slippers. Twinkling outside. It was nice-ish.
“That’s what I’ve got to work with,” I told my reflection in the window. “This is what I’m working with here. This the canvas I’m creating upon. And I’ve been painting it with stories of disappointment. That is why I’m unhappy. Not because of the canvas.”
“Is this the experience I want to have right now?” I asked. “To sit here on my last night feeling upset and disappointed?”
I looked at the lights outside. I looked at the beautiful hotel room I was sitting in. “No.” I decided.
“What kind of experience would I rather create?” I asked.
I admitted that I would rather feel good about tonight. I wanted to feel at peace, appreciative, maybe even happy. That’s what I wanted to create upon my canvas of reality.
“Ok, what is within my power that may help create that?” Now the creative juices were flowing instead of the unproductive whirlpool of woe-is-me.
I could put my dress back on and carry out my plans on my own. I could go down to the casino and use our free drink credits and get a nice buzz going. I could walk around with the happy people on the strip. I could stay here in the room and enjoy the peace and read and relax.
I carefully considered all of these. Perhaps even a mixture of them. What did I really want?
I realized that what would feel the most happy, peaceful, and appreciative would be to not be hungover during the drive home tomorrow. To not spend money needlessly. To not come back smelling like sweat and cigarettes. To not have guilt for brewing a pot o’ drama. To just enjoy what is, and see that it can be peaceful and ok.
It’s nice to sit here. It’s nice to read. It’s nice to enjoy simply being here in the middle of this ridiculously glitzy city.
“Yeah but it’s your last night here and you’re supposed to be out there…!” squeaked a little persistent thought in my brain, and I started to feel the it-shouldn’t-be-this-way disappointment wash back up. I realized I was creating my old sad experience again. I was losing my personal power.
“Yes, it’s my last night here and I don’t want to spend it feeling upset about things I have no control over!” I decided with conviction.
I was back to focusing on what was within my realm of power.
My old thoughts made attempt to pipe up a bit more over the next few hours, but softened as I focused on relaxing and appreciating.
Admittedly, I didn’t ever get to the feeling of 100% peace that night, but I felt so much better than the mental arguing I was doing prior.
I stopped arguing with what I couldn’t control, and I worked with what I had power over.
I created a better experience. And I was so thankful for my power to do that.
Work with what you’ve got!
- See what you’re truly working with. What is the bare-bones undisputable reality, without emotional attachments & judgements? That’s the canvas you create upon.
- What are you currently creating with your thoughts? Is this the experience you want to create for yourself right now?
- If not, what kind of experience DO you want?
- Stop focusing on what you don’t have control over and recognize what you do have power over. Focus on those possibilities instead of the “shoulds” that argue with reality.
- Begin creating something better. Don’t force it. It’s like art, like creativity. Let it flow when it does, and dabble and experiment when it doesn’t.
- Find appreciation for what is. Don’t strive for perfection, just a better experience. Adjust accordingly. Appreciate your power to do that!
A lot of unexpected things have happened this year, from perplexing health issues to car surprises good and bad, to travel misplans. This is the basic formula I’ve been using to work through all these things knowing that I’m giving it AND myself the best I can. ❤