Holiday Season Calm at the Busy Post Office
I opened the door, people were rustling about, upset. Some were frustratingly texting on their phones, while others talked to themselves as if complaining to customer service. The woman in front of me shuffled forward, then she looked back at me, annoyed, as if I had something to do with her current predicament.
You might wonder, where was I? Oh, the Post Office before the holidays! Anyone who knows me is aware that this is quite an opposite scene than I'm comfortable in. When it feels like the room full of people (in a line!) is caked in unreasonable negativity, I get super-de-duper itchy.
I stayed outside the main room, where the line was, for a few moments, while still holding my place, so that I could take time to observe myself and get to a positive grounded place. I felt into my body, scanned head to toe, loosening my muscles, and centering myself, wrapping my heart around my options. Sure, I could just get out of here... but these packages have been in the waiting for months! Falling into negativity would be the easy choice and it would surely result in a lasting yucky feeling... so no thanks.
I let my breath work for me, and then put a small smile on my face. I thought of how lucky I am to have numerous freedoms in my daily life, how if it weren't for these negative attitudes in the room, we could have a straight up dance party! Why not choose happiness? There's nothing inherently bad about waiting in a line for 15 minutes. Maybe we could even talk to each other and offer small kindnesses. I felt thankful to have beautiful people- family and friends- to send packages to. From there, I stretched my arms and legs and gave my body some love. I closed my eyes and thought of how I felt sitting on the beach on the Oregon coast in the Spring, which opened my heart and released my tension.
Looking at the postal workers, I sent them love and felt a lot of empathy, since I understand how difficult their jobs must be at this time of year. A woman, who seemed mentally unwell, based on the whole of her presentation, pushed ahead of me, mumbling. She was the recipient of great compassion that I sent to her. Others in line noticed my joyful "attitude of gratitude," which gave them no place to aim their frustrations, since they bounced off. I even got to exchange some heartfelt eye contact and smiles with some of them. Those small things lightened the room... and maybe made a small impact. All these things made a difference for me, I do know that.
As I approached the counter, I engaged with the lovely postal worker, who, I found out, is in her last year after 28 years of service. She loves singing while working, which keeps her spirits high, and in the meantime she giggled with me about what retirement will look like. I have to say, moments like this are the simple ones in every day life... and they provide us with a choice to feel and be awesome.