I am going to share an experience that happened to me recently, and gave me a lot of insight into how I am currently dealing with stress. I am pretty excited because I saw a lot of progress in the right direction here, so instead of you only learning from my mistakes (which happens a lot), I actually get to share something I did right. Whoo hoo!
My kids were home from school on vacation, doing exactly what most kids do on lazy mornings free from their routine. They were watching T.V…. no real surprise there!
This happened to be a morning that I had a brand new coaching client coming for her first session. I typically schedule all my clients when my kids are in school, but on days off they are used to getting cozy on my bed, either reading for a few minutes like I suggest before they put the TV on, or bypassing my instructions and simply putting the TV on from the get go. Either way, they are super good sports and I am not complaining. Sometimes a working mom’s gotta do what she’s gotta do.
We often have a weird issue with our T.V. remote control that is beyond annoying and no amount of tech guys coming to troubleshoot can fix. So five minutes before my brand new client is scheduled to walk through my door, the television won’t turn off. And for some reason it was on much louder than normal. Blaring is the best adjective I can think of. Why of all days?
In one single moment I felt my body tense and my breath shorten, and I immediately thought, “Nope! Not this time.”
I had learned a cool concept in my business Mastermind recently that taught about three ways people live, and it popped into my head in this moment.
It originally comes from a Bruce Lee movie, so I am not totally sure how it began circulating in the spiritual business circles that I hang out in, but I am lucky it did.
The 3 Ways to Live
You can live in rocks. When you live in rocks everything feels hard and you are totally inflexible.
You can live in taffy. When you live in taffy it is like a giant contest of push and pull filled with tension.
You can live in water. When you live in water you flow. You are able to go around things that stand in your way.
So when faced with the blaring T.V. and a new client on her way, I decided I was going to flow like water. After all, this woman was a fellow mom, and she had toddlers to boot, so I knew it probably wasn’t the first time she would take part in an improvised plan.
My new plan was to have our session outside in my backyard. It was a beautiful day, and I have a pretty nice back yard, so I felt great about my plan B. My body was relaxed, my breath was normal and I was really proud that I didn’t freak out. I really liked this water thing!
Just in that moment, when I was in the flow and stress-free, my kids tried the remote one more time, and it worked. I am convinced that it only worked because I figured out a way not to stress! I wrote something one time that fits perfectly with this story,
“Some days are a total sh*t show, just so you can see how far you have come.”
This morning had all the makings of a sh*t show, but I was able to breathe, stay calm, and flow like water around the stress of it.
Next time life throws you a curveball, decide if you are in rocks, taffy, or water. You have a choice, and I bet you are pretty good at building a boat when you really need one.
Ali Katz is a meditation teacher, self-care and mindful parenting coach, and author of the best selling book "Hot Mess to Mindful Mom: 40 Ways to Find Balance, Joy and Happiness in Your Every Day." You can learn more about Ali at hotmesstomindfulmom.com.