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What a Difference a Mindset Makes






I just got back from a two week vacation to France and Germany with Lou (my guy), his son, Eric, and Eric's wife, Tori, their two children, Bjorn (2 1/2) and Madeline (9 mos) and Tori's mom, Diane. That's five adults, two littles, two strollers, five big suitcases and backpacks all over the place. I am ever grateful for the invention of the wheel.


We went to three different locations which required repacking, trains, walking on cobblestones, waiting in lines, etc. To be honest, it was Eric who did all the research for this trip which was planned back in January. To be honest again, I wasn't sure we were going to take this trip because Diane's husband, who is Tori's dear dad, died unexpectedly two weeks before we left. He had been in poor health for many years, but no one expected this timing.


Take a breath on that major detail.


And yet, there we all were. Traveling in a pack most of the time. Climbing up mountainsides of steep vineyards on our way to another small village. One of the two kiddos would sleep for a bit, then the other one would get in the stroller and nap. One of the kiddos would be carried, and then the other would insist on it too. NO ONE HAD ANY PROBLEMS.


I kept thinking to myself--this is amazing. Diane just lost her husband, and Tori her dad. There were moments of tenderness, of course, but mostly we were happily distracted by lovely surroundings and fueled by pastries, cheese, wine tastings and medieval wonders wherever we looked.


It was on our way back to Frankfurt Airport by train on a very crowded Tuesday morning that started making me come undone. The train was so full of bikers with their bikes, strollers, suitcases and passengers upon passengers getting on but not off at every stop. A moving fire hazard if there ever was one. The train kept stopping and waiting for (I don't know--I don't speak German and couldn't figure out what was said over the intercom.) Eric and Tori stood with their two children strapped in their strollers the entire 90 minute ride. Diane found her own seat somewhere. Lou and I eventually got seats ourselves. I thought to myself--if hell were a train ride this would be it. Diane looked at me and agreed. Lou understood what I was talking about. Eric? he just looked at me and did NOT understand. WHY NOT? Because he doesn't think that way. He doesn't go to that place. He has that optimist gene and that CALM, CALM, CALM gene that just makes the most of whatever happens.


This was my shock--back to reality and awareness that how you choose to think determines your reality. If you choose to think something is awful, then it is. There is so much power in living that truth. So there I was, getting schooled in mindset on the train platform in Frankfurt because I violated my own rules. I was complaining about something I had to do (take that train to that plane)!


So, with all the humility I can gather as I keep practicing what I preach, I remind myself and you--when life gets hectic or busier than you'd like it to be, slow down and decide how you choose to think. Maybe you simply notice and refrain from judging. Maybe you realize you don't especially like what's happening, but since you can't change it, you let it go. Maybe you take some deep breaths and look at your phone and get distracted by Andrea Bocelli singing--and when the chorus from Hallelujah comes on, you turn up the volume at the very moment you get to the Frankfurt Airport train station. ;))


Keep choosing!


xo Coach Karen :))


P.S. If you like this blog, let me know. If you know a friend who appreciates these messages, feel free to share it. Healthy mindset is for everyone.





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Thanks for this post, Karen. So much packed in here to think about! You know I travel quite a bit, and I get so easily flustered and anxious when things don’t go according to plan, like cancelled flights, train delays, long lines, etc. I’ve been trying to change my mindset, especially when I see how my future son-in-law (when traveling with or without us) reacts to those unexpected challenges-like your Eric. It’s hard and I haven’t been successful. I will keep on trying, and I’ll get lots of practice, since I have 6 more trips (2 international) planned for the rest of the 2024!

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En réponse à

Hey Houry-- We are life long learners--one and all. I love hearing about your trips! And nothing like being in a foreign country to shine a bright light on your own biases about ... everything! Thank you for your comments! xo Karen :))

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