The Scene: Following the slowest driver ever, and running late.
The Thought: "This person is making me late, could they seriously drive any slower!!!"
The Feeling: Annoyed with a sprinkling of self pity because this always happens when I'm running behind.
Eventually, I got it together and asked these 3 questions:
1. Is my attitude helping the situation?
Clearly 'no'. The situation was going to play out in exactly the same way whether I was boiling over, or not. If anything, my frustration was making me a worse driver, so it was probably doing more harm.
2. Does this feel good?
Nope. Just by acknowledging that to myself clues me in that there is room for improvement. The only person feeling the effects of my negative emotions was myself. Why would I choose to feel like crummy on purpose? I hated the knot in my stomach.
3. What is the worst thing that can happen, and can I handle it?
The answer was, "be late for teaching my yoga class", and "yes, I can handle whatever arises from that situation. An apology, a refund, a longer class are all within my control."
After that, everything changed. I said "yes" to the situation.
And my brain started coming up with thoughts that were much more helpful...
"Maybe this is meant to happen to keep me safe." "This is a good practice for staying calm" "I'll have something to share with my class when I teach."
Notice, I didn't change the situation at all... only my reaction to the situation.