The phone rang this morning at 6 am, a few hours before I left for the airport to fly to Toronto . On the other end of the phone was the barely recognizable voice of one of my best friends telling me that she wouldn’t be able to get on the plane to teach with me at the CreativFestival . What had started as a cold earlier in the week turned into the worst kind of flu and she was in no condition to leave home to board a plane... she could barely talk to me. I tried to tell her that everything would be OK and to get some rest or get to see a doctor. It wasn’t until I hung up the phone and clung to Nick that the panic set in along with the little inner voice screaming “How on earth am I going to do this?”
Then, a funny thing happened. I just began to take deep breaths. Inhale... Exhale... Inhale... Exhale. In that moment of focussing on my breathing to calm myself, the ideas began to flow of how I could adapt Sunday’s Power point Breakfast presentation, of who might be able to help cover Teresa’s part of our joint classes, of how she might be able to get her files to me and lots of other insights buzzing like bees in a hive. I knew in that moment that taking this year to focus on Inhaling Creativity was not only teaching me unexpected truths, it was helping me cope better with uncertainty in a creative manner.
By the time I got on the plane and hauled out my journal, I was reasonably calm. By the time I shared with show organizers what had happened, I had some backup plans. By the time I met up with Erica, I knew I had a Guardian Angel helping out who was inhaling and exhaling Creativity herself. Just look at the beautiful breakfast goodie basket she’d made up for Teresa and I! (OK... to all of my Weight Watcher members following this blog, I do know that some of those nummy rolls with have to find homes with other people since I am the only one in this hotel room!)
I even found another advantage to kicking around in this hotel room all by myself, missing Teresa and hoping she will feel better soon... I get to cover the other bed with all my kitting stuff as I sort and snip and get ready to start teaching tomorrow.
I will miss her! Get Well Soon, Teresa!!!
INHALE: You can’t stop the panic that happens when life throws you a curve ball. I am learning this each time something unexpected happens on this adventure. Part of what makes it so much worse for many of us is that we have this built-up template in our head of how things are SUPPOSED to happen. When life or reality fail to measure up to that template, some of us freeze, panic or get really bent out of shape. Others, like Nick, work in an industry where every day brings the unexpected. Teachers, emergency room staff, firemen, police, taxi drivers... there are many professions where each day or each client can bring something totally unexpected into the mix, so they learn how to adapt and think Creatively better than most of us. Don’t measure everything to some PERFECT ideal. Just let it be and think of any creative solutions you can without giving up. Then watch as it unfolds into something new.
EXHALE: Take 10 minutes to explore an area of your life in which you tend to expect PERFECTION from yourself. Does this add more stress to your life than enjoyment? Does it really have to be done to the standard that you’ve set for yourself? If the answer is YES, then write down 3 ways you could reward yourself once the task is done. If the answer is NO, then write down 3 ways that you could lighten your load slightly, adapt your standards without throwing them away altogether or come up with a Creative solution that won’t leave you feeling like you just didn’t measure up. After all... Pobody’s Nerfect!