In your element

About this time each year, we start scouting out the perfect spot for our annual family photo shoot.  We’ve always enjoyed some funky modern aesthetic with cool angles, art or decor.  Almost every year, it’s a drudgery of picking outfits, getting everyone dressed on time, and racing to a distant location with sweat dripping off our brows.  All that followed by enduring the poses, smiles and the whole “sit still” process, in general.  When the boys were younger, we used to try to bribe them with candy, which often turned out to be a momentous parenting fail when the sugar rush took a nose dive, leaving us with uncontrollable beasts about halfway through the shoot.   It’s certainly gotten better over the years, but always still a bit of a drudgery.

So we tried something new this time. 

We chose an outdoor location super close to home where the boys were free to climb around and explore.  We let them choose comfortable clothing that could get a little dirty and it would blend right in with the theme.   During the shoot, they got to build, bowl with crab apples, kick up dirt, and breathe fresh air.

They were in their element.  

Sure, there was still a little gnashing of teeth to get started.  No one wanted to be up, dressed, and on location at sunrise.  But the dreaded annual family photo shoot turned out to be a more enjoyable morning than years past.  It was less of a nightmare and more of a fun memory.  Sign me up for more of that!

It turns out that over all these years, we’ve had more control than we realized.

I wonder what would happen if we intentionally anticipated the activities in our lives that are most difficult?  Rather than dreading them and expecting them to be just as awful as last time, what if we decided in advance we wanted things to be different?  What if we decided to try something different this time?

What’s on the agenda for you this week that you’re really not looking forward to? 

Is there a way you can adjust your mindset, surroundings or even your clothing to feel more like you’re in your element?  Is it possible to change locations? Can you do a few stretches or breathing exercises to oxygenate your body in advance?  What about changing the music, even if it’s only what’s playing in your headphones on the way there?  Can you switch up the time of day?

Try making a few small tweaks to help get your more in your element before a difficult task this week.   

You have more control than you might realize.

Spend some time today anticipating the tough stuff and do the work to get a little closer to your element. 

It might just turn out to be less of a nightmare and more of a memory.

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