Have you ever had one of “those” days, weeks, months or years? Who hasn’t? You wake up, set your feet firmly on the floor, step onto the roller coaster of life and strap yourself in for another day. The ride is constantly changing. Whether it gently slopes or takes you careening around curves at 120mph and within an inch of your life, that's all a part of the human experience. When you get off the ride each night, you may be happy, scared, nauseous, wind blown or on your way to the chiropractor. Whatever happens on that ride each day, if you make it in one piece, good for you, you’re a winner!

But did you have the experience you wanted to have at every twist, turn and drop of the ride? Sometimes we enjoy each aspect of the ride and sometimes we don’t. At times the ride is easy and yet, at other times the same ride can be difficult and exhausting. Why is that? The answer may be found in a personal change of view. Maybe its as simple as moving to another seat on the ride? We have gotten used to sitting in one place, but, if we take a risk and move around, we can alter our lives in a profound way. Why? If we shift our seat, we shift our view. A new view will change the ride for us and alter our experience of life.

Let’s assume for the sake of argument, that we will all disembark the ride safely each day. It may seem like a large assumption, but in reality, most of us do make it back to the safety of our bunny slippers and flannel jammies. Have you ever looked around at the other people on the ride with you? Have you noticed that some of them have their eyes clenched and breathe held? Other people on the ride seem downright serene. A few are trying to figure out the physics of the ride. Others are laughing and talking. Some are screaming with excitement! And then there are the riders waving their hands in the air as they plummet to earth. Where do you think you fit in? Are you a hand waver, a laugher or an eye clincher?

Of course, our circumstances change daily and our reactions are influenced by those circumstances. Birth, death, falling in love and losing hope are just some of the circumstances in life that people experience and react to. Could it be that our reaction to those circumstances is also defined by our viewpoint? Let me be clear, if you experience trauma, I am not saying that your reaction of sadness, guilt, anger or fear is the result of choosing the wrong seat on the coaster. But have you ever been in the presence of someone who is going through a tragedy with a hopeful heart? There may be tears, but through those tears, these people continue to see joy in each new day. They find the “silver lining” in grief. These are people who are masters at changing their view.

There was a time in my life that I would ride the coaster with my own eyes clenched, breath held and knuckles a pearly white. It took me some time to identify positive steps I could take to change my riding technique. My goal was not to become a hand waver. That would be too big a leap for me. But, I wanted to be a calm and happy passenger, laughing and enjoying the ride. And, I didn’t want to have to work too hard to make this shift happen. Here’s the game I came up with, maybe it will work for you too!

1. Make a list of views (seats on the roller coaster) that are empowering for you. For example, one of my empowering views is “trust.” When I am in the trust seat, no matter what I see or hear, I know that I will exit the ride that day in a better place. My list also includes; love, prosperity, action, intelligence, health, well-being and fun.
2. Make a list of disempowering views. My list includes; not enough (money, time, love), loneliness, anxiety and fear.
3. Take some time to do this exercise. It will take about 5 to 10 minutes.
a. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Take a breath.
b. Feel your body in the chair. Feel your hands, head, arms and legs. Feel your feet on the floor.
c. Acknowledge sounds you hear and the thoughts that are in your mind.
d. Once you are fully aware of your immediate environment, expand the picture. Become aware of the room in which you are sitting and the building that you are in. Stretch that awareness to include your street and neighborhood.
e. Expand your awareness further to include your state, province, country and world. Become aware of your place in this world and the other people who share it with you.
f. When you have fully experienced your connection to the world, bring your attention back to your body.
g. Picture yourself on the roller coaster. Which seat are you sitting in? Is it on your empowering or disempowering list? Look around you. Take in the other people on the ride. They are smiling at you. They are not in a hurry. They are waiting until you find the seat that is perfect for you right now. Take your time and choose the seat that fits you in this moment.

Once you have your list of empowering seats, keep it with you. You may need to switch seats at a moments notice. The more you do, the better you will get at it. Who knows, we all may be hand wavers one day! Don’t forget to buckle up and enjoy the ride!