Although it was an hour drive to get there by leaving at 7:15 I was assured of having plenty of time to catch up with my co-facilitator and review our notes before we met with our leadership cohort group at 9 AM. As I was tooling down the PA Turnpike, my phoned beeped at 7:45 to remind me that the workshop actually started at 8 AM.
In a bit of a panic I checked my agenda and sure enough the starting time was 8.
I could immediately feel my cortisol levels increase as I hit the accelerator increasing the speed of my car as if going another 10 mph would really get me there that much sooner. I texted my partner, Mike, and was now thinking about how I screwed up and left him in a bit of a lurch.
As I exited to Turnpike and got on the 2-lane road to my destination, a little old lady in front of me was ambling on at a speed well below the level that my mind was racing. I started talking to her to speed up but my pleas went unanswered.
It was about that time, when I took a deep breath, thought about how I was handling the situation and realized that the nice lady ahead of me had been sent my way to slow me down and help me arrive at the workshop a few minutes late but in a calmer and more relaxed manner.
Even if we don’t always navigate our stress gracefully at first, oftentimes a little reminder comes our way to help put things in perspective as they did with the slow moving driver ahead of me. Be on the lookout for those forces from somewhere else that help you remember that resilience is easier on your body than stress.
© Richard Citrin, All rights reserved, 2017