Recently, a friend of mine named Renee was driving her seven-year old son home from school, and she was preoccupied with worry. She had a lot of bills to pay and was having difficulty making money. Her husband had been ill and unable to work, so they’d fallen behind on their mortgage. This was a serious situation that required her attention, but it didn’t demand her undivided attention every minute of the day.

As she drove, her son began to chatter away about the changing color of the leaves and how when a maple-leaf seedpod is thrown up into the air, it spins on its way down like a helicopter. Renee barely acknowledged what her son was saying because she couldn’t stop thinking about her financial situation.

When she pulled up to a red light, Renee looked over at her son and in a moment of awareness, realized that she was missing out . . . that her constant worrying was preventing her from truly listening and connecting to her child. Worse, she’d made a habit of half listening to him as she internally fretted about her problems. Renee realized that she wanted to snap out of her fear and choose a different emotion. She asked herself, What else could I feel right now instead of fear or worry?

Renee had several choices. She could feel:

Gratitude that she was able to spend time with her son, and that the two of them were close

• Joy as she listened to him talk about what was on his mind

• Curiosity and genuine concern about what his day was like

• Confidence and faith in her ability to handle her financial crisis

In fact, she could experience all these emotions at once if she chose to.

She might not be able to let go of her anxiety completely, but she also didn’t have to let it dominate her emotions. By allowing her mood to be overwhelmed by worry over one aspect of her life, she was dampening any positive emotions she might feel. Her emotions weren’t in balance, and everything seemed dark.

We’ve all had a moment similar to Renee’s in which we realize that whatever emotion we’re experiencing, it’s not one that makes us feel good. Often our desire to return to feeling better is enough to inspire us to try to change our emotional balance.

Excerpt from
Your Destiny Switch: Master Your Key Emotions, And Attract the Life of Your Dreams

by Peggy McColl, Foreword by Neale Donald Walsch]

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