Irritation to Inspiration

Little Girl Covering Ears ca. 2000With thanks to my client Margaret, who asked me a question last night which prompted me to tell her this story and to realise that it would also make a useful blog post.

I live in a building which has been converted into six flats. Mine is the garden flat, as clients who have visited will know. Lucky me. And at least half of my property has a flat roof, so no neighbours overhead my living room, kitchen and office. The flat which is above the other half of my home, my bedroom and bathroom, has been empty for a very long time, most of 2014 but recently new tenants moved in. I don’t know who they are, I haven’t met them; this is London after all. We may never meet since we don’t even share a front door in common.

But immediately I realised I’d loss the bliss of ultimate peace and quiet with no-one walking (and doing other unmentionable things) upstairs. Hey ho, as I said, this is London after all and if I wanted ultimate peace and quiet I’d be best off moving myself. And I don’t rule it out, Gentle Reader, I don’t rule it out.

I’d forgotten, but one of the most annoying manifestations of people upstairs is The Squeak. It sounds like coat-hangers rattling but it isn’t the vibration of their footsteps causing my coat-hangers to rattle and I do not imagine I could hear that through my ceiling but nevertheless it is a squeak. With rattly sort of overtones. An annoying small, regular noise at night-time when I am reading in bed. When I’m snoozing? No problem.

My first thoughts went like this…”Oh God, I won’t be able to put up with that for long. But that means I’ll have to get them down here to hear it. And that means strangers in my bedroom. And they’ll think I’m a mad old woman who’s hearing things and making a fuss about nothing. And if there are two of them we’ll need to leave one of them upstairs to walk about simulating conditions which bring forth The Squeak. etc. etc. etc.” If your brain doesn’t work like this, then you’ve never lived alone!

And then, Genius Me, I just thought of a better way. I thought of a way to go from irritation to inspiration and add value to my life at the same time.

I first thought I’d just ignore it and, if I couldn’t manage that, I would just accept it, not fight it and allow it to become a stressor. But then I thought I could turn it into an anchor (as NLP types call it) and attach to it only good feelings which make me smile.

So now when I hear The Squeak I think of all the nice things I want in my life, and I imagine them here already, and I smile. I re-framed an annoyance into something I want, a reminder of all things good and the source of that smile – warmth, sunshine, abundance, my ideal life. And now that I come to think about it, now that I’ve done that… I haven’t heard the noise for a while. How funny is that?

Try it. Pick something which annoys you a bit, not too much as those ones definitely need fixing. Attach good thoughts and warm feelings and sunny visions to it. And deliberately smile. And let me know what happens. Genius! Told ya. What else could this work for?

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