It is 930am and I am stressed out. Already.
Sitting in “my” cramped office (which I share with 8 others, including two of my bosses), sipping on STRONG espresso, struggling through a never-ending pile of Monday paperwork, the parade of people who needed a piece of me seemed endless (in-and-out-in-and-out-in-and-out-in-and-out). Only four hours into my day, and I cant WAIT(!) to go home.
For those of you familiar with Truman Capote’s Holly Golightly, you know all to well what I am referring to:
Holly Golightly: You know those days when you get the mean reds?
Paul Varjak: The mean reds. You mean like the blues?
Holly Golightly: No. The blues are because you’re getting fat, and maybe it’s been raining too long. You’re just sad, that’s all. The mean reds are horrible. Suddenly you’re afraid, and you don’t know what you’re afraid of. Do you ever get that feeling?
Boy, do I ever!
A bad case of the Mean Reds had a hold of me, and was not prepared to let go.
Bonus. I had my iPod on.
Bon Iver’s Holocene was a pleasant distraction.
This beautiful song (you can view the striking video below) automatically brought to mind images of calm.
A deep breath, I became centered. And, for a brief moment, it ceased to be Monday.
For most of my life, I would allow those moments of stress, those mean reds, rule me. They made my day, and I was powerless to change that. I have learned that powerlessness is never an option. By failing to make a choice, I have (essentially) chosen to fail. Becoming more present in daily life is like going for a good, long run. Only I can do it, but the rewards for doing so are exponential. I feel better about myself. People notice when I’m there and not just going through the motions and they, in turn, respond more positively.
Taking that moment (or five, thanks to Bon Iver) to breathe and visualize calm in my chaotic environment, was an investment in the future productivity of my day.
I encourage you to take a moment for yourself. Feel your feelings. Experience your breath. Visualize calm among the bedlam. Center yourself, and then continue on.
Peace and Love,