I had a most fabulous time on my vacation in Maine. I love the location, the weather, the solitude. We spent a week on Monhegan Island which is a very special place but only if it is the right match for you. Part of its appeal is its ruggedness, rustic charm, lack of people, lack of modern amenities (think- no cell phone service), and a chance to get back to a real rhythm of life. On our last afternoon there, the sun started to peek through the fog. From our vantage point in the harbor and in the woods, the zip of the unsettled weather the night before was long gone. Not so on the eastern tip of the island. It had waves like I never saw waves before. I was happy as a clam sitting on a rock watching them all afternoon as you can see from this photo. Squnting aside, it was a very calming and energizing way to spend a few hours.
Looking back at this picture (and the gobs of wave photos I took) it got me to thinking about how quickly change can come upon us. Just like this afternoon that went from fairly calm waves to crashing waves, so too goes the events of our life. I only have to look at the last 2 weeks to see just how much churning has been going on in my life. I returned from our trip all mellow and ready for an easy transition back to regular daily life. Well, in the course of less than 2 weeks, I got laid off, learned my Dad had to have another heart procedure, learned all was well, traveled to visit him, found out he was unexpectedly back in the hospital, waited for tests results, and gladly received the call that he was back home and doing fine. Whew! That’s a lot of wave churning going on. Add to that a bunch of activities related to my business transition, clients, a few networking events, and an energizing teleclass on Tuesday and you get the picture….Calm seas, rough seas, unexpected rogue waves, placid moments, crashing surf, and back again.
What I’ve noticed over this time is how important it is to stay fully present with what is right in front of me. Sure there are all sorts of things I “could” be doing, but what needs doing right now? It might be some task I need to complete or maybe something as radical as simply giving myself permission to take some space in which to absorb and regroup. What I most need to do when I get anxious and crazed is SLOW DOWN. And, the need at any moment can be as swiftly changing as that surf. What’s most important is stopping to listen and hear what I most need to do at that time (and it’s often harder than it sounds) and keeping an attitude of gratitude about me.
When I find myself stretched and overwhelmed I need to break it down. Thankfully I have a great coach to help me do that. When you suddenly find yourself nuts ask yourself — what is the 1 most important thing right now? Then, go do (or not do as the case may be) that and ask the question again. You’ll find you are able to move forward even when the waters are choppy and churning around you.