Berit (my Friend from Switzerland) and I went to the local pool and found a nice shady spot which was key on this scorching afternoon. I was so happy when I saw a free chair across the way so I went to collect it and carried it over to our shady corner.
We got lucky someone had just gotten up and there was a second chair so I went to collect it. You see chairs are hard to come by at this pool so this made me very happy.
I forgot to put a towel on the one I already put down in our corner and as I turned around there was a woman putting her things on MY chair. Berit just looked at me from the distance and shrugged. That was the universal body language for oh well too late.
The thing that struck me most interesting was as I approached, I wanted to say something to the woman about MY chair. You see if I were back in Switzerland, I may not have said anything because of the language difference. I was not as forceful or confident in a foreign language (that’s another story..). But here, I was on my home turf and wasnt going to sit by and lose my chair.
As I approached, in a split second, as though I were in slow motion or watching this in a movie, I saw myself start talking to the woman but I was talking in German. What was going on? because my friends were visiting from Switzerland, my brain was working on a different mode, German mode (after all I lived there for 16 years).
Although I was clearly here at my pool in the United States, being there with Berit made me start to think in German.
Because usually, when I was with Berit it was always in Switzerland and around other German-speaking people. In that split second, I had to stop myself and shift modes back to English. The woman had no idea what was going on in my head but I thought this was really interesting.
Like the picture which represents more than one perspective, isn’t it interesting how depending on what is happening around us is processed so quickly by our brain and dictates our reaction or what we see if we are not consciously aware of it. It is very powerful to become aware and have more choice in what perspective we see or what language (pun intended) we are using.
Habits are stored in our brains. Habits and reactions to emotional triggers, our language patterns and so much more. We can influence the way we think by breaking these patterns and creating new ones such as creating new emotional reactions.
What habits and patterns do you now recognize and want to change?