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5 Ways to Shift Your Vibe When Things Go Bad

by Amy on June 17, 2015


I was in NYC last week with my mastermind group. There we are cruising the New York harbor.

I’ve been taking a course on Law of Attraction. So, on the flight over to New York, when I learned I would be sitting in a middle seat during one of the legs, I decided to “manifest” an empty seat in my row.


No one sat in the window seat! It was a ridiculously full flight. I was feeling quite pleased with myself.

So on the way home a few days later, I was feeling pretty confident.

The first leg from LaGuardia to Chicago was easy. I sat in a middle seat but luckily there were too very small humans sitting on either side of me. Neither of whom tried to hog the armrest. In fact, the kind elderly woman to my right offered to share the rest of her seltzer water with me. I accepted.

I expected even better things on the long leg home from Chicago to Portland. I got the aisle seat and had every intention of manifesting a free space to my right.


You can imagine my displeasure when I arrived at 27 D to find two very large humans who could only have been lumberjacks sitting in the window and aisle seat of my row. The lumberjack in the middle was so large that it was clear to me that his arms would not only be hogging the armrest, he might have to straddle the armrest.

amy flight 1

My fears were correct.

The entire flight home, the lumberjack’s body unapologetically engulfed a third of my seat so that I had to lean into the aisle where folks needing to get to the bathroom smacked my shoulder at regular three minute intervals for the duration of the four and a half hour flight.

And that’s when the snoring started. This lumberjack was brazen (but not in a good way).

30 minutes in, I decided to get some writing done on my new computer that I manifested. So I set the seat back down, contorted my body into a position that would allow me to type without brushing against the lumberjack’s left knee (I think I pulled a muscle) and got to work, feeling good about my agility as well as my ability to persevere even under the most difficult of situations.

That’s when the lumberjack at the window motioned to me that he needed to go to the bathroom. I gave him a look that said, “if you think you can wake him up I’ll get out of this seat.” Somehow he managed. I gathered my laptop, the two books in my lap and my manila folder full of notes, unplugged the power adapter and got up. Standing there in the aisle, holding all that stuff, I noticed almost everyone else in the back of the plane was enjoying a free seat between them. I could see the pity-amusement in their eyes as I stood there awkwardly holding my computer while I waited for the lumberjacks to return.

I ceremoniously stuck my neck pillow between me and the lumberjack (and I didn’t offer to move it even though I could tell he was annoyed by this extra thing keeping him from taking up more real estate on my side).

amy flight 2

Then for about an hour, I did a lot of dramatic sighing, pouting and wincing whenever anyone would bump into me on the way to the bathroom. I felt more and more mistreated as the minutes passed.

But the more I felt like a victim of my circumstances, the more I wanted to blame that lumberjack and his lumberjack friend (brother?). The more I wanted to blame the people walking to the bathroom (how dare they use the bathroom!). The more I wanted to blame the flight attendant with the food cart who needed to reach for some napkins, sticking her bottom in my helplessly captive face. The more I felt like a caged animal.

“How dare I get stuck in this claustrophobic cluster fuck?” I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A POWERFUL MANIFESTOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And as long as I continued to stew in that sanctimonious soup of blame and self-pity, the more claustrophobic I felt.

Clearly, I’m NOT the powerful manifesto I thought I was 24 hours ago. Once the food cart rolled up for the second time and the flight attendant had to get more napkins, I started to see how ridiculously comical the whole thing was. Which spurred me to post my situation to my Facebook wall where I could share the absurdity with others in the hopes of making someone laugh.

I still felt like a sardine for another few hours, but at least I was laughing about it.

amy flight 3

The moral of this story…

You are responsible for your vibe. Blaming anyone and everyone, cursing the Universe, the weather, the traffic, your period, your past, whatever, makes YOU the victim. But you made yourself a victim — not the Universe, not the weather, not the traffic, not your period, not the past…

And remember, victims have no power.

When you look at your situation as the victim, things tend to get worse.

Which is exactly why you’ve got to find a way to feel better.

5 Ways to Shift Your Vibe When Things Go Bad:

  1. Laugh. Find the funny in it. There’s no way to be in a crappy vibe while you’re laughing. If you need to, turn to YouTube. Here is some funny shit to watch right now:
  1. Baby Step It. Use the Emotional Guidance Scale by Abraham-Hicks to “bump up” your mood a little at a time. There’s a good explanation of this technique here.
  1. Dance. (Unless you’re stuck in a crowded airplane.) It’s sort of like laughing. You can’t really be in a crappy vibe while shaking a leg.
  1. Listen to happy music. This is a good one to do while driving (bonus points for dancing while driving).

The Bottom Line?

Stop with the righteous indignation. Fine. Let yourself be pissed for a bit. But remember, as long as you stay bitter, you’re powerless. Because you’re stuck in the story that you are the victim of other people, the Universe, your circumstances…

As the saying goes, “would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?”

Your Turn:

How do YOU shift your vibe? Post a tip in the comments section below!

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Liesl June 17, 2015 at 11:06 pm

When it involves a person I am not happy to be around, I usually just remind myself that, at the end of the day, I don’t have to go home with that person. I get to choose who is in my life and “that person” is not one of them. That usually puts a smile on my face.


Amy June 18, 2015 at 8:17 pm

Great reframe! Thanks for sharing Liesl!


Leslie June 18, 2015 at 10:00 pm

As a former flight attendant, who has been on so many flights including as a passenger, I can feel your pain. The lumberjack really was invading your space! I’m glad you were able to laugh it off eventually. I’m sure the flight attendant was happy you didn’t post a photo of her rear end. 😀


Ashley Chandler June 28, 2015 at 4:58 pm

Amy, this post cracked me up and brought up so much for me. Well done, as usual. As human beings we feel the emotions of our experiences and get trapped in our heads, but the idea is to not stay stuck in the story of what isn’t working. In addition to finding the humor (always a sure fire way to get un-stuck), I remind myself that this is a moment in time. I literally think about the people in my life who will appreciate the story (over a glass of vino!) and all the universal human moments. My bet is the lumberjack is in a ‘compromising’ position of some sort later on. Hopefully he picked up some of your ‘vibe’ and humor and applied it to his own life, and the positive cycle continues!


Amy February 22, 2018 at 9:57 pm

I allow myself to have a pity party, be disappointed, sad, mad or whatever but the trick is to do that for a brief amount of time ,& then either shrug it off and/or apply humor. For example, I recently fractured a rib. It’s painful. Nithing can be done but let time heal it. Sure, I’m not happy. What I wish though, is that I had a more interesting back story on how it happened. Imagine a full grown adult rolling over in their bed to greet their dog at the end of it, only to rum out of mattress space & plop into the floor. Bam, fractured rib & bruised ego. So from an injury, I have a funny story to tell the rest of my days.


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