Choosing your response to what happens in life is your greatest freedom. Learn more in this video: “Don’t Let Anybody Ruin Your Movie Night”.
Full Video Transcript (Transcript by Victoria Barkley)
Don’t let anybody ruin your movie night!
Years ago, I was living in Sacramento. It was a Sunday afternoon and I had finished doing a couple of services and I wanted to go home and relax…maybe watch a movie. So, in the days, when you had to go to a store to rent a video…remember those days? So, I was going to go to the video store.
I was driving my little Honda Civic at the time and all of a sudden I have noticed this big jeep pull up right behind me. And he turned on his lights…and I was like, wow, this guy is in a real hurry…So, then I came to the light, made a left hand turn, and drove into the parking lot of the video store. The guy behind me made a left turn, turned right into the parking lot, into the video store. I thought this guy must be in a hurry to rent a video…or to return one…who knows.
I thought, okay, waited a minute, probably said a prayer…and this guy, got out of the car, went to the door… and I got out of the car and went to the door… He began to shout, “You are the slowest driver I have ever seen in my life!” People in the store were starting to look to see what’s going to happen.
Now, I was committed to choosing my response, because I value responding from the highest that’s within me and seeking to evolve and choose to exercise my freedom. Plus, he was a big guy, standing at the door (laughter) so that was an added incentive.
So, he opened the door…I said, “After you.” He said, “No, after you! After all, I’ve been following you for the last three miles…I might as well follow you into the store!”
So, I walked into the store and then my monkey mind started to get active. You know the monkey mind? Yeah, in India they say the mind is like a tree full of drunken monkeys. Now, imagine a tree full of monkeys is rough already, let alone a tree full of drunken monkeys. So the mind started to talk to me. “Who does he think he is, talking to me like that? He doesn’t even know who I am. I could be a black belt in karate. I could be an ex golden gloves boxer…or, worse, I could be a minister…” (Laughter)
So then, I started to recognize monkey mind and to realize, I am not going to let this guy ruin a perfectly pleasant day. And I began to choose, “How can I think about this situation? What are some other ways that I could think about this? When I started to open up to that, new thoughts came in…I began to feel some compassionate thoughts…began to think, this guy must be having a really bad day…maybe this guy is having a really bad life… if he talks to a complete stranger like that, maybe he talks to his family like that…maybe he talks to his spouse, partner, wife or children that way…
I began to have a change in feeling as my thoughts changed. And so, I went about and rented a movie, Dirty Harry…”Go ahead, make my day, punk!”