Grocery shopping has always been one of those errands that I just hate. I mean truly HATE. I can’t tell you why, it’s just the last thing I’d like to do. However, the cats and I have to eat, so groceries must be purchased and I don’t live in an area that offers grocery delivery. It’s always been a task that leaves me feeling cranky, drained, and out of sorts. I’d try to go early in the morning before anyone was there and get it over with quickly, but even then, it just plain sucked. That is until I had a lesson in joy.
I made a commitment that I wanted to stop hating the errand so before I went to the store, I set an intention to be kind in both thought and word to everyone there. I won’t say it was easy not to roll my eyes as people jammed up the aisle with the carts and weren’t paying attention to anything, but I told myself a different story. Instead of “gosh they’re so annoying and in my way,” I said to myself, “they must have a lot on their mind.” Well, wouldn’t you know it, I wound up with a woman complimenting me on my shirt and I came home feeling less distressed by the whole process than usual.
The following week, I decided to try it again, only up my game on being kind to others. This time, I complimented a woman on her shirt that said “be your own kind of beautiful,” told the can stocker not to worry that his cart was in the way because “you have to put it somewhere” and chatting with the produce stocker about celery and carrots. I was kind to the woman who left her cart in the way of literally everyone when she looked and me and went “I keep doing that!” Instead of simply walking away trying (probably not well) to hide my annoyance, I said “guess it’s just one of those days” and smiled.
At the checkout, I realized I didn’t feel bombarded by negativity and energy drain. Instead, I was on my little island of joy – in the world, but not of the world. Not only couldn’t the usual drama and “ick” of the grocery store get to me, I could feel myself radiating love and happiness all around. The woman in front of me was wearing a great dress, and I told her that. So, of course, she smiled and we chatted for ten seconds and she walked away feeling happy. I made eye contact with the cashier and bagger instead of looking down at the keypad hoping they’d move faster.
By the time I got home, I realized, I was happy, I was joyful. I was not stressed, irritable, angry, or anxious. This amazing shift was all because I decided to be kind, to tell myself joyful stories about the world around me, not negative ones. Because I made a choice to approach a hated task with love and acceptance rather than resist it.
What’s the grocery store trip in your life? What errand, chore, task do you simply hate? Next time it’s on your to-do list, try sending it some love and doing it with kindness. I bet you’ll be amazed at the results. And I want to hear about it in the comments! 🙂