Stressed or Blessed? 60 Seconds or Less Can Be the Dealbreaker

You know how it goes. Something hits you wrong and you fly off the handle. Just like that.

Yesterday morning I was absorbed in to-do details yakking at me. I thought I was managing the clamor fairly well. But then one e-note, in the midst of a ton of others, grabbed me.

Can we change the time and place of our meeting today?

Normally a request like this wouldn’t throw me. But I had carefully choreographed this gathering to suit five people with incredibly busy schedules and who were coming in from various geographic regions.

Mil stressedI could feel my agitation surging. “The nerve! Letting me know at the last minute. I sent out these details last week!” And then anger, “This is not the first time that this person has bailed on me.”

Just like that, within a matter of seconds, my whole being changed: mind racing, heart pumping wildly, indigestion brewing, snappy responses crackling.

How quickly it can happen. And over the slightest thing.

I caught myself. Meltdown immanent. Time for an Emergency Three-Breath-Countdown.

Stop. Right now. Exhale. Let it go. Now inhale. Invite in fresh air. Do it again. Exhale. Really let it all sail out. Now bring in freshness. One more time. Exhale. Inhale. Ah, better.

After I cooled, I returned to emails with a clearer mind and a less stressed body. The fifth e-note pulled me in. My dear friend Kay had just returned from Asia and was shocked to find that her husband of 14 years was departing. “I am pouring out my heart to heartfelt women friends — the best remedy there is.” She included a link to a commercial from Thailand that she said made her think of us.

I decided to watch. It helped me remember that yes, sometimes you don’t even need 60 seconds.

In a few seconds, I can fly off the handle, or I can choose to do something tiny. It can make a huge difference for someone else. And for me.