When your friend orders frogs legs how do you react?
It’s a new experience for you, totally out of your comfort zone, right? For many (me included) the thought of munching on a reptile’s limb makes one feel a bit squeamish. I automatically conjure up negative feelings – the concept is hard to swallow.
But consider how often we taint our experiences by coming up with dark thoughts and predicting the likely obstacles we’ll face? In already conjuring up negative associations are we setting ourselves up for failure?
Reflecting on the planning of my upcoming trip to Europe, I admit I’ve been subconsciously generating negative thoughts and barriers. I haven’t let myself look past accessibility issues, jet lag, managing my pain and the huge financial toll. For me, everything in planning for this trip, has been about access and equipment- having wheelchairs and scooter in place to improve access. I’ve scheduled drivers, rest days and a bucket full of medication just in case. I’m determined to prevent my limitations tainting others’ and my own experience.
Whilst creating stories of possible roadblocks I may encounter is essential in making my trip easier, thinking in this manner I’m already expecting the worst. In looking at tours I’m so mindful of my limitations that I’m adding it to the list of things I can’t see. Subsequently my excitement is definitely compromised. What’s the point of taking on this experience if I already believe it will never go smoothly?
It’s hard to not feel overwhelmed and worried about what’s ahead of us. However, consider that if we don’t equally invest our thoughts, energy and money on positive scenarios, expect the best for ourselves, we are choosing to be engulfed in negativity and so caught up in the ‘what ifs’ in the future that we can’t be present ‘now’.
Eating frogs’ legs may not be on the menu but I’m adamant to be open-minded. Trust that I’ve tried my hardest to limit the obstacles I will encounter but also choose to focus on all the possibilities and excitement ahead of me. It’s likely I’ll now probably quieten those pesky scenarios and negative thoughts and refocus on the present.
So after months of organizing ‘disability’ friendly travel, I’m now choosing to research yoga classes in Florence, hot air balloon rides over Tuscany and gondolas in Venice. Now feelings of excitement outweigh any negative thoughts I’ve been conjuring up for months!
I may have a disability but it’s time to try frogs’ legs!