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The high road or the low road. Sunday August 25, 2013

So, I'm walking the dog on the beach. I see another dog do a mess right there on the main area where kids play all day long. The owners are 30 yards ahead, looking elsewhere, oblivious.

I'm furious. I feel the anger in my body, my heart beats faster, my emotions are powerful, my mind starts racing. I see myself screaming out at them, how dare they? This will spoil it for all dog walkers if we are banned, how could they? I see my rage and their hostile response.

Then, I choose differently.

I breathe slowly and deeply. I calm myself down. I go and pick up the mess and ask myself if I can honestly say I've never missed a mess my dog had made, never been distracted. I amble up to them..."Excuse me, I guess you didn't notice but your dog did a mess back there so I picked it up. It's just that a lot of kids play there". Oh my gosh, they were both embarrassed and grateful and couldn't thank me enough.

I see that I have a choice as to how to respond as opposed to instantly reacting? My bodily sensations and emotions react very fast and can easily override my ability to think. Instead of 'mindfulness' perhaps it's too easy to end up with 'mindlessness' and then we're all worse off.

A Moodscope user.

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Anonymous Sun, Aug 25th 2013 @ 6:56am

This was just what I needed. I live in an apt complex and am constantly worked up about the amount of dog doo that owners ignore. I am sure I, too, have missed a few of my doggies messes. One day I picked up 7 messes... only one was my dog's. After I did that, I felt much more peaceful.

I still get angry, and I thank you for your message. it will be a good reminder that life happens... that I can make a DECISION to change my attitude at any time. it's amazing how much happier and productive my days are when I check my attitude right when I wake in the morning.

Thanks Bill!


Anonymous Sun, Aug 25th 2013 @ 10:24am

Nice post, Bill. Breathing is the starting point. Always. Although it's not ideal, I have started smoking roll-ups. I know it's a bad habit, but it slows down my drinking, which I'm going to AA meetings to cure. When I go on Thursday, I'll share my "falling off the wagon" episode with my fellow members. I know I'm not the first to have "failed". Your post is heartening because it made me realise that first instincts e.g. rage are engrained in all of us. Whether its childhood, or life experience, these things can take time to address. I realise I like writing, and hope that, whoever is reading, this helps.

Anonymous Sun, Aug 25th 2013 @ 11:30am

Nice post Bill. Thanks for the example. I react soooo badly to such things, and need to remember this alternative next time it presents itself. Maybe today!? Who knows...

Anonymous Sun, Aug 25th 2013 @ 3:15pm

Same as the previous poster,I tend to jump in with anger.This world is an angry enough place,and it starts with one person.So thank you for the great reminder.We could use more of that!

Anonymous Sun, Aug 25th 2013 @ 3:20pm

So many times I've (figuratively speaking) pulled the trigger first and made the situation worse, a couple of times I've held back, thought about it (even slept on it) and given a much more measured response which has solved the situation much better than the hard-headed tactical nuke option.

Suzy Sun, Aug 25th 2013 @ 3:59pm

Nice post Bill. It's been said that there are at least 30 different ways of seeing every situation. As your post says though, sometimes all it takes is just one alternative view.

Anonymous Sun, Aug 25th 2013 @ 6:33pm

With 2 dogs that I we walk twice daily, not an uncommon issue for us...

I have never confronted another dog owner who has left an errant deuce, but I do pick up plenty of excrement.

Poop Karma

revkevo Sun, Aug 25th 2013 @ 9:34pm

Bill, great post. I just read "The Mood Cure" by Julia Ross and took an amino-acid, DLPA, to balance serotonin in my system. A lifelong depression lifted in two days after taking only 3 500mg pills up to that point!

Love & Peace,
Rev. Kev

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