The first quarter of 2016 was a huge time of transition, growth, and adjustment. I’ve found myself taking a very close look at how I spend my time and my energy. What serves me… and what doesn’t.
I’ve written about being set in my ways, about the distinction between rituals and bad habits; there’s an interesting study to be done in recognizing the habits that serve us and the ones that don’t. The primary tool, or rather, my personal favorite, in that quest is my voice. I’m learning to speak up.
Recently I’ve been dealing with the end of our lease at the old house and there have been a lot of heated conversations with our landlord – discrepancies between what her expectations are and mine. Every email from her, even just the notification, creates in me a very real anxiety. But you’re not supposed to love your landlord, right? Sure, but that doesn’t mean that rules of common decency and kindness go out the door.
After the most recent email, it occurred to me that I needed to let her know that her tone didn’t sit well with me. My fingers trembled as I typed out the words: “I don’t appreciate the accusatory tone of your recent emails. I’m aware of my responsibilities and will fulfill them until the end of our mutually agreed upon contract.”
Her response was calm and sober. “Eric, I’m sorry. I’ve been a landlord for 15 years and these deals almost never end on a positive note. Thank you for bringing my tone to my attention, I look forward to our final walk through.”
It made me wish I’d called this out 3 and a half years ago when I got that first biting email. The anxiety I could have saved myself – and all it took was one carefully worded email.
What are the things in your life that you’ve put on the back burner or decided it’s easier not to deal with? How could your daily experience improve by clearing out that clutter? Perhaps a brief moment of discomfort could result in a positive energy shift. You’ve got great power- your voice is its outlet into the world.
The thing about speaking up is that it makes it easier for people to listen. Take a breath, stay calm, speak up!