THEN I can relax…
(This article was first published in October, 2010)
It was a Tuesday morning about a year ago – the Tuesday before my 3-day Breakthrough Abundance – LIVE! workshop in Minnesota. For the first time in 9 years of doing these kind of workshops, I was actually going to drive up to Minnesota early so that I would be able to have the day before to relax and leisurely get set up and ready.
My plan was to get up early and be all packed and ready to go as soon as my 10:00 a.m. coaching call was done. But things weren’t going according to plan and I was rushing around in what I call “Get It DONE” mode. And I had a TON of things to get done!
It was SO important to me to be ready to go on time – I had my day all planned out. I was going to get to St. Paul by 2:00 or so and have a late lunch at one of my favorite restaurants, buy my last minute supplies at Staples and then check into the hotel and relax that whole evening reading and maybe watching a movie.
And I was running behind schedule – WAY behind!
So much so that I was even tempted to cancel my coaching call with Pat Honiotes because “I didn’t have time”. (And – just so you know – that was despite the fact that I would have still been charged for the call.)
I didn’t, however – and thank God for that!
Instead, I showed up on that call rushed, pressured, and super-stressed. I was SO frustrated things weren’t going the way I had planned! As I told Pat, I had SO wanted to have the afternoon and evening to RELAX in the Cities!
And that’s when – KA-BAM – Pat said something that has stuck with me ever since and created a huge “muscle memory” for me.
Here’s what she said. “So – let me see if I’m getting this right. You don’t HAVE to be in Minnesota at any particular time today. You have all day tomorrow to relax and handle final preparations. And yet right now you are stressed to the hilt, putting all sorts of pressure on yourself, rushing around, frustrated and impatient trying to hurry up, get it done, get there so that THEN you can relax?”
I answered, “Yep – that’s it!”
To which she responded, “So – after being stressed and tense and pressured like this all day, how long do you think it’s going to take you when you get there to actually unwind in order to relax?”
To be honest, I hadn’t thought of it that way.
She then said, “What would it look like if you let yourself relax NOW – and not when everything was done and your got there – so that you arrived in Minnesota ALREADY relaxed?”
I was flabbergasted at the thought. RELAX DURING THE PROCESS – what a novel concept!
I thought about it and said. Well – I’d take the time to go for a long walk with Dan to enjoy time with him AND to enjoy this gorgeous day. And instead of driving the 250 miles non-stop, I would stop along the way. In fact, instead of starving myself until I got to the Cities, I would stop and eat at this great restaurant halfway there. I think I might even read my novel some while I was eating.
Pat simple response was, “Teresa – you make it all about getting things done or getting there – so that THEN you can enjoy yourself and your life. And that kills the joy of the process. And it’s ineffective. When you’re tense and tight and rushed – you’re never as effective as when you’re relaxed.
So – instead of being tense and stressed all day UNTIL I got the the Cities, then taking hours to unwind and relaxed – I made BEING relaxed throughout the day my number one priority. I went for that walk. I took my time driving. I stopped and had lunch along the way and read my novel. I even took a short 15-minute nap in my car.
And when I arrived in the Cities (4 hours later than I had planned), I was ALREADY relaxed. And I continued to relax all evening – which is what I had really wanted all along.
THIS is the “muscle memory” that was triggered this morning when I woke up and heard myself say “I just have to get my newsletter DONE. And I want it done by noon so that then I can get THIS done and THIS done and THIS done – so that THEN I can relax tonight.”
I was on the verge of repeating the same pattern! I was stressing myself out so I could relax later on – instead of taking care of myself (and staying relaxed) as I worked.
1. Take a couple of long, slow deep breaths
3. Get outside if you can – because nature is a powerful reminder of the fact that there is no need to rush… that beauty and prosperity are not the result of rushing, pressure, “efforting” and struggle. Just BE fully present to the moment – and what is in front of you. And enjoy the process!