World Class Sweat-er

Did you see my last post? You know, the one where I talked about my summer slow down strategy for better productivity? I know how hard it can be to implement it; I know because I struggle too.

Example: I had a coaching session scheduled with the top two executives of a non-profit. It wasn’t my first time working with their team, but it was a first for this permutation. We were only going to have an hour together, so I was concerned it wasn’t enough time to make headway on the goals. I was going into it knowing we would need a second meeting, but it had been difficult to schedule this first one, so I wasn’t sure how we would make everything happen in a timely manner.

My nerves, and perhaps allergies, had me feeling kind of off. I knew that something was off.  But I didn’t realize I was SO OFF, that when getting on the train, I went to the uptown platform, not downtown. It was TWO WHOLE STOPS before I realized my mistake.

This had me racing for a cab (which I didn’t do in the first place due to traffic tangles on the FDR), and in a bit of a panic because now I was late instead of early.

Of course I called to say I was running a little late, and of course they were kind about it. Having handled that as best I could I was left with:  Soooo, what to do next in this cab ride? Side note: At this point it’s important to know that I am a champion sweat-er. World class. My cousin and I swear there’s a gene for excessive sweating and we have it. So I could feel the uptick in body temperature, which only added to my stress.

I am not lying when I say that I told myself there was nothing more I could do, that I needed to arrive calm and ready to work with my A-game–the best I could do given that clearly something was off–and that this was happening FOR me not TO me, and I closed my eyes, breathed deeply, and meditated some. Not the whole time, but here and there. This is not something I would have considered in the past. Instead, I would have tried to control traffic with my mind and anxiety and sweaty back and scalp and armpits. I would have arrived harried and completely untethered, then would have over-apologized and scrambled to perform without being fully present in the room.

Outcome: the pair remained kind about it, and in fact needed the windfall of time to more fully prep for our session. I was calm, and we got straight to work. The time we did have together was deeply moving and powerful for the two of them (and me!). AND not having enough time for a full session meant that we were able to wrap at a really beautiful moment and plan our second session, which we all realized in some miraculous moment, could be the very next day. Hello FLOW.

I’m telling you all this because I want you to know I’m not perfect and I struggle with all this stuff too. That’s why I talk about it and share tips with you: they help me as well. I know it can seem easy for me to talk about healthy choices, slowing down, being proactive, etc – all the good ways to be and aspire to be. So I also want you to know that I am efforting to walk the talk. To implement tiny changes and different choices to make my life better.

Please share your thoughts on what has worked for you, ways you’ve been able to make small shifts that feel like big wins.

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