Sometimes the practice works. We realize something that could have been rough was easier. The other day I handled a potentially mega-stressful situation with perspective. From the outside looking in, noticing, “Wow that’s challenging!” “A real difficult situation, you’ll figure it out, chuckle chuckle…” And it fucking worked!
2 days after sending a planned peace/love/moving-on email to a job where I helped launch the distribution of a film, I received another email with the subject “URGENT.” And I mean another. This is one of the reasons I was OK with gracefully bowing out from this gig. No joke, at least 1/3 of the emails had the same subject line and I just didn’t feel like carrying this project’s made-up urgency anymore.
I took a quick glance to confirm it could sit overnight without a response. The next day I had my regular email-free morning, ignored a voicemail from URGENT man, went to another meeting, and intentionally got into the 🆘 911🚨 email at about 11am. After reading it, I took a quick 5-minute walk, breathed intentionally for 30 seconds or so, and responded fun-professionally and carefree. I acknowledged the situation without entering the drama.
There was some confusion between a couple of the partnerships I booked for the film. One of them went HAM with marketing to the point it started to look like the film was their project. Super surprising as most folks don’t do anything more than sending a couple of emails to their list. They made a website and did a bunch of social promo. Mostly OK, slightly surprising, no biggie. It made another group we’re working with wonder what was up.
A few minutes after responding I called back URGENT man, leading with a perspective of looking at the situation from the outside. Not because I had moved on from the project, this was still in my zone and I was happy to help out (on the clock), but because no one needed to be this stressed.
I lead with, “Wow that’s a situation, we’ll get there.” And it worked! He was totally chilled out by it, I was chilled out by it, and instead of being stressed and adding more work to my plate, I left the call free and clear.
This is one of the things we’re training to do in mindfulness, mediation, fun-pro living, and hype. It’s, “Getting a perspective on our perspective,” as my friend Mark says. Being able to sit and think, “Dang I’m super stressed.” Seeing our minds as a space or ocean or desert or whatever works best for you, and watching things come and go. We can be a lil mini-us hovering above ourselves noticing what’s happening. Just the simple act of acknowledging our thoughts can show us all we need to do is laugh and cruise beyond to the living truly happening right now.
There were no wack repercussions from my not returning the email right away. It was fine. No one cared. Because it was an email. Letting the boss man go to voicemail that morning was totally OK too. They just wanted a response — it didn’t really matter when. Did they have a stressful few hours? I hope not, but if they did that’s on them. I was able to leave the situation like a Fun Professional, on even better terms with the team than the great terms I had left on 2 days earlier. Waiting a bit to respond with intention benefitted all involved.