"Choose your attitude? What do you mean?"
I had a bad hair day. A Very Bad bad hair day.
I had gone to bathroom after waking up and almost screamed at the sight of the monster who seemed to live in the bathroom mirror. It had been there for years, looking mostly ghastly, but we got along. I wholeheartedly agreed that it was a blessing of nature my sight had gone worse during the years because I usually had a chance to slip into shower and only after that put on my glasses and look into the realm of the monster in the mirror. With my hair wet it usually looked ok and ready to be tamed.
Not so this morning. This morning the monster looked like it had suffered from severe electric shock. Einstein would have envied that hair. And of course this was the morning I had slept too long and had no time to shower.
I did all I could. I combed the hair. No effect. So I decided a pony tail was the answer. I used a lot of hair spray to glue my hair into a tight helmet. Nothing could escape a tight pony tail.
Or so I thought. Because when I ran to my car and drove to work I realized my whole pony tail had escaped. The rubber band I had used in haste had fallen somewhere. The hair was stiff from the hair spray and as it was a bit windy outside, the wind ruffled my hair into interesting spikes.
I saw myself reflected in the glass doors of the office and the only thing that I could compare my head to was Sputnik. Or some other satellite - lots of spikes shooting out of my head like antennas.
And so I arrived at work looking worse than ever, hoping I would not meet anyone with a heart condition on my way to my desk.
"Yikes! What happened to you?" Maria shouted (and of course this got everyone´s attention - I saw heads rising, amused smiles - thanks a lot, Maria!).
"I hate my hair," I told her, "I really really hate my hair. The ultimate bad hair day in progress."
Maria tried not to smile, but wasn´t very successful. I heard someone laughing quietly nearby.
"You know - it´s all about the attitude they say. You can choose your attitude even about this," Maria said.
"Choose your attitude? What do you mean? With this? Choose your attitude indeed..."
Good heavens that girl was a real Pollyanna...
"You at least have thick hair! You should be happy about it," Maria said.
I did not even answer that but tried to find anything I could use to tie my hair to a pony tail again. Maria didn´t seem to take the hint but just stood by my table.
"Ever heard of the story of this one woman…"
I sighed. She was going to tell something to cheer me up and I wasn´t in a receptive mood for such wisdoms.
"Well, I don´t remember the exact words but one day there was this woman who was almost bald..."
"Right, you mean I should cut my hair off now? Thanks a lot…"
"No, silly!" Maria laughed, "But one morning she looked in the mirror and noticed she only had three hairs. She smiled and said "Great! I think I shall braid my hair today". And she did. And she had a great day."
Maria handed me a ribbon from her own long hair (which of course as a result fell beautifully down her back).
- The next day she looked in the mirror and noticed she had only two hairs left. "Great!" she said, "I think I´ll part my hair down the middle today!" And she did and had a great day.
I did what I could to make my ponytail look decent, using an old comb I had in my drawer for emergencies.
"The next morning she looked in the mirror and noticed she had only one hair left. "Great!" she said, "I think I´ll wear my hair in a pony tail today" And she did and had a great day. And the morning after that she noticed she had no hair left at all. "Great!" she said, "I don´t have to fix my hair today!" "
I opened my mouth to say something witty, but didn´t have time to do so before Maria handed me a leaflet.
"Actually I wanted to ask if you would buy a ticket to this concert."
I looked at the leaflet. A fund-raising concert for the local children´s hospital cancer ward. A bald child looked me straight in the eye from it, smiling with dark circles under his eyes.
I felt the weight of my hair - now in a tight ponytail.
"I´d love to come," I said reaching for my purse.
I heard Maria´s words in my mind. "You can choose your attitude."
And suddenly my hair was just perfect.
We are often less than happy about our bodies. The hair, the nails, the nose, the weight... Always something to complain about.
It becomes a habit very quickly and soon the only thing we notice in the mirror is what annoys us.
But even in this you can choose your attitude.
How about you really had a look at yourself in the mirror and choose one thing you like about yourself. Be it the color of your eyes, your healthy skin or hair. And compliment yourself (in front of that mirror) about it.
It feels ackward at first, especially if you are used to mostly finding fault about your physique. But if you find that one thing you like, you win. Talk about it to yourself as long as it takes to reach a positive feeling.
And the next time you begin to blame your body for not being what you want, turn your thoughts again to that one good thing you found and praise it again in your mind until you reach that good feeling place again. Your mind can only focus on one thought at a time.
You literally choose your attitude about your body.
And why would you do this exercise? Simply because this way you don´t waste your time in negative thoughts. What would be more useless than that? If you have a healthy body, you should realize how lucky you are. It is one of the greatest blessings you can have in your life.
Most of us think that everyone else is looking at our bodies and finding faults with it. But you know what? Mostly that is not true - they are too busy finding fault in their own bodies to pay much attention to yours...
So go ahead, decide to choose your attitude about your body and start thinking what would be that one thing you like about it.