Ease on Down the Road

Updated insider information by Chellie Campbell, author of “The Wealthy Spirit: Daily Affirmations for Financial Stress Reduction”

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280-October 7

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”—Leo Buscaglia

The traffic on the roads in major cities can be a considerable cause of stress. Most people have heard of “road rage”—when tempers flare so badly that people do crazy things as anger overcomes normal sensibilities. When the flow of cars stops and it seems as if you’re in a parking lot instead of on a freeway, it is frustrating and you are helpless. You can’t get where you want to go. The anger you feel gets compounded when you see other people make stupid driving mistakes: They pull into your lane without looking, making you slam on the brakes to avoid hitting them, or they tail-gate and make you afraid they’re going to run into you.

Years ago, a boyfriend developed a new attitude for driving the busy streets of Los Angeles. He had gotten into the habit of fuming over the traffic and this put him in a negative frame of mind each time he got into his car. A self-aware thinker, he noticed that the problem was his own and that he was the one suffering because of it. It was not healthy or productive for him to be constantly angry about a fact of life that he couldn’t control. Accepting that he couldn’t change the traffic situation in Los Angeles, he realized that what he could change was his reaction to it.

It was up to him to project a peaceful and loving attitude toward driving. Instead of being solely concerned with himself and what he wanted, he chose to approach the situation from a desire to help others. He decided that he was in charge of his section of the road. It was his job to see that everyone on his section got down the road safely. This put him in a positive, helpful frame of mind. When someone wanted to change lanes, he slowed down and waved them over with a smile. When someone tailgated him, he moved over so they could pass him. He did everything in his power to make sure that other drivers had a pleasant driving experience while around him. If somebody did something stupid, he would just shrug and say, “Oh, well. I’ve made that mistake, too.”

This new focus of helping others on the road transformed his driving experience to one of happiness and helpfulness instead of anger and frustration. Imagine if everyone approached traffic with this attitude! Try this out for yourself today. You will find that when you get where you’re going, you will arrive with a peaceful and loving frame of mind. You will feel better about others and better about yourself. Instead of “road rage,” you’ll have “street peace.”

Today’s Affirmation: “I help everyone around me to joyfully ease on down the road.”

Country road in North Carolina

Country road in North Carolina

Are You an Artist?

It’s been said that if you ask kindergartners if they are an artist, 100% of them say yes.

But if you ask 5th graders if they’re an artist, only 10% say yes.

Isn’t that sad? Somehow between the ages of 5 and 10, children get the message—from school, their parents, their friends, their peers, the media—that they aren’t an artist or that they aren’t creative.

But we are all artists and all creative all the time, with every choice we make, every item of decoration or clothing or makeup or jewelry or furniture or housing or transportation we pick. Stop the judgments; stop comparing yourself to someone else’s choice of style or color. Yes, you can appreciate another person’s flair or creativity, but the point is not to put yourself down with it, but to be inspired by it. Let your own creative soul express itself and soar.

Start taking little risks. Buy an article of clothing that’s just a little outside your comfort zone—a wild color that doesn’t go with anything else, or a funky piece of jewelry that isn’t your usual style. Go to a sci-fi movie if you never do, or go see a children’s cartoon even if you don’t have children. Reach out and make a phone call to someone you might not ordinarily call.

Break the chains of habit and circumspection and create your life anew just a little bit today.

Because you are an Artist, and your canvas is your life.

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