About Moxie Girl Musings

Moxie Girl Musings is about starting over from square one after tragedy impacted my young family. It's filled with stories of triumph, struggle, snafus, hopes, and dreams. Sometimes there will be features from other writers that I like and every so often I'll include an original short story, but normally I simply write what's on my mind at the time. Welcome to my unfiltered true-life story as I figure out this thing called life. http://www.amberleaeaston.com

Monday, November 2, 2009

It's a Dog's Life

"Greet everyone with same enthusiasm you would use when greeting your dog", declared words emblazoned across a t-shirt I saw recently. These words spun around my mind for awhile. I started thinking about how I greet my dogs when I see them and how they greet me. Pure joy mixed with enough love to light up the sky.

This prompted a social experiment. I decided to put this into practice one stranger at a time. No, I didn't knock anyone down and start licking them or speak to them in a silly voice. I thought that might get me arrested rather than appreciated.

My first stop was the grocery store. I walked in looking for targets for my cheerfulness. The first was an elderly woman who struggled with her cart in the breakfast aisle. Caught up in my intention to reconnect with my former cheerleader persona, I asked what she wanted to do and how I could help. She eyed me a little strangely while trying to fight with this cart that seemed to want to only go sideways and said, "I'd like it if the cart would go forward." Ah...of course. Forward. I grabbed the front of the cart, glanced at the wheels, kicked the front right one and wa-la...forward momentum.

My next specimen was a man looking at the Asian food. He dropped a can of Chinese noodles, which I promptly picked up for him. I looked him in the eye, handed him the noodles and made some inane comment. What I said wasn't important, my demeanor was. The oddest thing happened...he laughed and looked me in the eye, too. Strangers out for errands connecting on a superficially cheerful plane of existence. What a nice change of pace.

"Greet everyone with the same enthusiasm as you would use to greet your dog". I silently repeated that phrase as I moved on to the gas station and the recreation center.  My experiment was full-speed-ahead and the results were making me smile as broad as humanly possible.

Experiment in mind, I entered the pool area where I normally read or work while I wait for my daughter. Ignoring the pile of work in my messenger bag, I waved at the other parents and nodded at the coach without letting the smile slip. People I have known superficially for a few years opened up to me for the first time on the bleachers near the swimming pool. Pulling my head from my to-do list and interacting with the world around me paid off with happiness.

I experienced the energy shift everywhere I went. I greeted everyone I met with that same enthusiasm that comes so naturally when I see my two dogs racing up to meet me when I get home. Simply by shifting from unconscious to conscious I dramatically changed my day.

This is not new information, I know. I am not breaking new ground here in any way. But putting the information into practice became a gratifying experience where I only attracted the joy I extended.

I mentioned this concept in my Facebook status last week and have to say I was surprised at how many people mocked this simple idea. Yes, it is a simple idea. Perhaps too simple for some to take seriously, but it is true. Perhaps if I had used the golden rule, "treat others as you would like to be treated" people would have responded differently to my happy declaration on Facebook, but I doubt it.

From my perspective, we have become too cynical of a world, too immersed in fear and competition to embrace the simplest idea of all: loving each other.

5 comments:

  1. Whenever we give of ourselves, it seems to come back tenfold, doesn't it... People are increasingly disconnected, and I know you made a difference in the lives of your 'experimental' subjects. Those mocking this concept are missing the very piece that can turn an average day into a masterpiece! Keep it up and thanks for sharing.

    slt

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why would anyone mock this type of behavior?!! Well I must say I have this attitude when venturing outside my door and its 70/30 on my responses usually the recipients are quite responsive, I make them like me haha! I get in there face with my friendliness! Of course a few bah hum buggers are going to look at you with a frown so I just move on when I know that they want to be left alone. I like joking around and helping people out when out in public but alot of people are not used to someone with the openness of my personality! Anyway I like this quote from Steven Covey: “Ineffective people live day after day with unused potential. They experience synergy only in small, peripheral ways in their lives. But creative experiences can be produced regularly, consistently, almost daily in people's lives. It requires enormous personal security and openness and a spirit of adventure.” I like your blog, you have a good mind and spirit in my opinion anyway! :)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for your comments! Love them!

    I may use the Steven Covey quote in my Facebook status or as a cornerstone for another post. I really like it.

    Thanks again, Anonymous and SLT. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love your attitude Amber! Yes, I have tried this, but too shy to take it as far as you have. I will try tomorrow! Thank you!

    You are an amazing writer. Do you have any books or the blog only?

    I am very sorry for your loss Amber. I cannot imagine how difficult it has been for you and your kids. You are an inspiration to many.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thank you, Anonymous, for your kind words. DO try it! 'Tis the perfect season for it!

    I am still on a quest to publish my novel-length manuscripts, but they are complete and ready for the world! Soon...very soon...I will let you know. Heck, I will let EVERYONE know! LOL.

    Thank you again for your wonderful words. You have no idea how much it means to me. Truly.

    Be good to yourself!

    ReplyDelete