I had the excruciating pleasure of falling down a flight of stairs. It wasn’t a rolling tumble by any means. It was the type of fall that hurt. I stepped on the edge of the carpeted stair, my feet flew out from under me and my back crashed with a forceful thump against the treads. I slid down the rest of the stairs, caught my breath, checked myself, and cried.
Actually, I sobbed.
Granted, it was 2 am, I was tired from being on the computer all day long, and mostly I was scared. I was hurrying down the stairs (and not paying attention) to lock up before hitting the hay. I was scared because it reminded me that if I fell and did indeed get hurt, no one would even know.
Everyone in Minnesota always thinks I’m in Aspen, and everyone in Aspen always thinks I’m in Minnesota. Its times like these that make me miss my ex-husband. Or maybe I just need a “just-in-case” plan: the “Help, I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” alert pendant.
The tears flowed. And they were needed, because those tears represented a big, giant exhale.
I keep telling myself I’m getting good at being present and checking in…so much so that I can tell when I’m headed for one of these build-ups. I start feeling antsy. I start feeling rushed. I’m indecisive and sick of the computer. I’m stressed out and delay or postpone my workouts, and I certainly don’t have time for meditation or a massage.
What I’m really feeling at these times is a craving for mental rejuvenation. But, instead of paying attention to the stress build-up, I just kept pushing through.
There’s a reason I do this. It’s because I’m trying to beat this really big imaginary clock that keeps ticking and tocking louder and louder. I’m racing against some imaginary time machine, yet I know that race is never a formula for success.
“If I can just do this, I can move on to that and then that will be done, which means I can do this.”
What a cruel joke doing this and that is. It never ends. And I should know better. Striving for the end game is the wrong approach; it means you are not enjoying the process. But it’s easy to get caught up in the madness. I am human after all (as clearly demonstrated by my fall).
I know I am never going to beat the clock. I know I have to let go of self-imposed deadlines. I know I need to stay in the moment. Because every single time that I do, serendipity visits.
After I fell and cried that night, I exhaled. Then I took 3 pain relievers and went to bed. The next day, I woke up sore, but renewed.
And that’s when serendipity kicked back in.
Before starting my day, I “happened” upon a random article that revealed how a good sob is as important to your mental well being and stress relief as is a good laugh.
My first phone call of the day had to do with an exciting new fundraising opportunity for my company, and the conversation was interesting and successful. I was given the opportunity to be one of their first 20 small businesses taking part in their beta program. They even waived the fee b/c they like what I’m doing and want me to participate, but I’m still unsure about fundraising. Some little birdie in the back of my head keeps telling me to grow organically with lots of sweat equity.
My next conference call with a HireMeAspen affiliate resulted in an RFP opportunity that could lead to lots of other opportunities. My third call with a prospect resulted in a new consulting gig. My fourth call with an existing client resulted in a 50% increase in the monthly retainer I receive.
My fifth call was with my brother. For once we weren’t rushed. We enjoyed reconnecting and brainstormed some exciting marketing ideas for both of our businesses.
As I write this post, my inbox just beeped. After taking a sneak peak, I saw that I received an email introduction from an old college friend referring me to a complete-stranger-soon-to-be-new-friend who just launched an investment company. He thinks it’s worthwhile we talk.
The point of all of these interactions is that they all produced new opportunities or ideas that did not even exist at this time yesterday.
You see, when you cry, you exhale. When you exhale, you say “I give.” When you give up and let go, you trust.
And when you finally trust, you breathe.
Contributor: Connie Hammond
We want to hear from you.
Do you always feel rushed and need to catch up? Are you sick of running around like a chicken with your head cut off? If so, what tactics do you use to slow down? Are you a control freak? Have you experienced the positive side effects (like serendipity) of slowing down, taking pause and relinquishing control? If so, share your story.