At 5:40am, I freaked out. In a sleepy haze, I leapt from bed to the sound of my alarm believing that I overslept, dashed to the closet and with great confusion attempted to dress while cursing and berating myself for not being responsible.
Kathleen calmly spoke and said I wasn’t expected for another hour, everything was going to be okay and I needed to shower. I didn’t believe her – at all! I knew that I had less than 20 minutes to dress and get to the store for a staff meeting. She continued to reassure me that it was okay and only almost 6am, not 7am. It took several moments before I realized she was right.
Fast forward. I showered and headed down to the kitchen to prepare coffee and notice there is more than enough time; so, I choose to prepare a smoothie. I gather my items and head out the door, I arrive at work early, before anyone else.
Fast forward. I leave work around 10:35am to pick up supplies at Office Depot, on the way I think about my insane wake up experience. It was all too much, too much worry, too much intensity, and too much pressure. If it had been 6:40am, being late would not have been the worst thing (ego check). The intensity of rushing through the morning to fly to work and not allowing myself the space to set myself up for the day robs me of quality time and quality experience.
90% of all illness and disease is stress-related, Diseases of Civilization. To me, this reads as: 90% of all illness and disease is preventable. And maybe that’s a stretch, but I love a good stretch goal. These are really good odds! Solve for stress and you WIN! Stress can cause you to not breathe fully and when we aren’t breathing fully, we aren’t living. The cost of a stressed life is vitality.
Tonight, I solved for stress. I am leaving in the morning for Advanced Landmark in Houston, TX, and my little girl wanted some hangout time. Instead of stressing through the laundry list of things we need to complete, we washed the car, practiced partner stretching and played around with acro, chatted about clothes and friends and YouTube, it was an excellent use of time.
If you find yourself in a stressful situation, know that you can choose your response. Grant yourself permission to choose vitality. Breathe, inhale | exhale | repeat. Know that you are worthy of a quality life. Embrace the gift of the present.