Have you ever had something take you totally by surprise, leaving you in a complete negative and unproductive space? Yes, there are moments you get upsetting news via email or a phone call. But even then, you get a bit of a warning. There’s the subject line in the email, or the phone number you recognize on the call. You get a few seconds to catch your breath.
I am talking about the time you opened your LinkedIn account, and you saw the person who consistently was rude to you land the job of your dreams. Or you open up Facebook and you see that your ex has solidly moved on to another relationship (yes, engaged). Or you walk down the street and you bump into the most unexpected thing you could bump into.
I am referring to those moments when your breath stops, your chest tightens, and in some cases, your eyes start to feel like they are about to water. I call them the “I need to catch my breath” moments. I was at Facebook headquarters recently for a meeting on wellness and wisdom, and they actually have a name for it: the unexpected “punch to the heart” moments.
I had one of those moments a couple of months ago. It was late at night and I was getting ready to go to bed. I broke one of my wellness rules and decided to check a few things on my phone…And…I had an “I need to catch my breath” moment.
I am pretty sure that until I am an enlightened master, these will happen to me. They happen less and less, but doesn’t that just mean that when they do happen, they are that much more surprising and thus impactful?
So there are two things I could have done.
- Go to bed and stare at the ceiling for hours, playing out doomsday scenarios in my head
- Channel all of that energy into productive action
Those are the moments when I am grateful I have such a strong meditation and mindfulness practice. This is what helped me choose #2 despite the breathlessness. Using these practices, I took a breath, I asked for guidance, and I got to work. I got myself a big bottle of water and I placed it on my nightstand. I was going to need to stay hydrated. I moved my son’s bassinet closer to my bed (the beautiful one was just 2 months old), and I texted my husband to feel free to call anytime (he was traveling in Australia), because I expected to be up for a WHILE. I opened up my laptop. There had been a couple of key things I had been wanting to do to carry the Live On Purpose message to a greater audience. Well, why not take all of this energy that was going to keep me up anyways and do these then? I worked through the night. I’m not an engineer, but I am sure as heck good at learning things and am pretty smart. That combined with Google searches gets you far these days. I built some of the tools I thought I had to hire someone to do. I remember doing the 12am feeding for my son, and then time zooming by until it was time to do the next feeding. By the end of the night everything that I had procrastinated for 4 months was done. The actions had a +142% impact on a key metric that month.
What can YOU do TODAY?
1. Identify the last “punch to the heart”, “I need to catch my breath” moment
2. Decide what is one action you can take today to move forward in a positive and productive way
a. How are you taking care of yourself today? Are you proud of your health (mind, body, spirit)? How tall are you walking these days? Start that exercise routine, stop eating the processed food, get into healthy action so you can start feeling healthy. The reason you had a breathless moment is due to your state of self. More on this in the next newsletter.
b. How can you develop yourself further? What’s that online course you’ve been meaning to take? How about that weekend day retreat you have been thinking about?
3. Make a commitment to consistency, because the better you feel about yourself, the less likely those surprising moments have a negative impact.
Let me know how it goes! I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment or any questions below. If you enjoyed this post, I would be honored if you share it with your friends, family, and community.
Lots of love,