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Choosing Power – Getting Above the Line at Whole Foods

We modeled the shift from being a victim (complete with a sob story) to being empowered during this “Radical Responsibility” unit. And it’s a powerful shift. How does one move from a place of feeling angry, betrayed, taken advantage of, distrusting and sad to one of feeling strong, hopeful, remorseful, and empowered?

Perhaps a story will help…

You are in Whole Foods trying to get some lunch before your class in prison – you’re almost already late and totally in a hurry. You’ve been standing in line to order something from the prepared foods deli line for over 5 minutes, and just as it is about to be your turn, someone cuts in front of you. You were already annoyed, and now, you are totally furious, thinking to yourself, “How could that jerk face just cut in front of me like that? Who the hell do they think they are?!” In the meantime another person moves right in on the solo deli line worker when they ask “Can I help who is next?” By this time, you’re steaming at the pants, thinking to yourself  “I am so &^&*%^ hungry and now I have to leave – I don’t even have time to order my food now. Whatever, I’m leaving! I don’t even care, screw them! I hate Whole Foods!”

How do you feel?

Angry, frustrated, distrusting, furious, like no body cares, hungry?!

Now, with the same sort of storyline, let’s take the accountable version (as in, how can you own this? Asking yourself, “What could I have done differently?”)

…Well, I could have left the office earlier – I know how crazy Whole Foods gets during the lunch hour first off. Secondly, I could have just gotten a soup and not only had time to eat it while driving a million miles and hour to the prison, I could have possibly even sat down there to eat my lunch. I could have made a sandwich the night before, knowing tomorrow was going to be a very full day. I could have noticed that the deli worker was on alone, that the line was long and being realistic about time, decided then to just grab a piece of pizza. Ultimately, I could have planned my time better and still managed to get the nourishment I need… Shute, I could decided to drive the airport instead and hopped on whatever the next flight out was! lol

How do you feel now?

Slightly embarrassed, relieved, more in your intelligence, open, more in control?

It’s a bit different, eh?

And that is just it. We ALL have the potential to see (in any given situation) what we could have done differently…and yes, it seems there are limitless possibilities (like… not only doing something slightly different, but doing something hugely different  – saying screw it all and hopping on the next flight to Thailand for example).

We all have the potential to make a shift – yet we often refuse to get ourselves Above the Line (even though when we are there, we feel SO much better)

There are two different worlds operating here…one full of confusion and powerlessness and one full of ownership and control. And it’s up to no one else but us…as always. This is our life. Our life. And as far as we know, it’s the only one we get – a precious human life in which we get to to choose which world we want to live in. Amazing. So, the challenge I’m putting on myself for the next week is to try to catch myself before I have to retell the story…We’ll see how that goes!

Thanks for reading!

Until next time,


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