You never know what the day may bring, so it really helps if you are able to be flexible. On Friday morning, I went to a Santa Barbara networking group called Contacts N Coffee. It meets every Friday morning, bright and early! As I was driving over to the meeting, my mind was a bit pre-occupied with the events of the last few days. We had just started a home remodeling project that will be wonderful when it’s done, but right now, our kitchen (and therefore much of the rest of our house) is pretty torn up. I, also, had just returned home from being with my mom in the hospital, as she recuperated from pneumonia.

When I got to the meeting, I felt relaxed. I was prepared to sit and listen as others gave their 30 second introductions of their businesses, and then to listen to whoever was going to give the 10 minute talk of the day. That lasted all of about 2 minutes, until someone asked who was doing the talk this week. When no one raised their hand to claim that privilege, they went to the list that we had filled out at our first meeting, several weeks ago. All of the sudden, I heard the leader of our group say, “Linda will be giving our talk today.” Since I’m the only Linda there, I knew that my plan to relax and just be an observer was not in the cards for that day.

My mind quickly scanned the 3 choices that I had: 1) I could choose to switch places with a very nice woman who had raised her hand and volunteered to speak in my place. 2) I could sit there and obsess over the fact that I didn’t have a talk prepared — and what in the world would I talk about! 3) Or — I could relax and trust that if I talked from my heart, it would all be fine. I spent about 20 seconds thinking about my choices, and knew that the only choice that made good sense for me was the last choice.

My talk wound up being just fine. Everyone was engaged and supportive. I knew that they wanted me to succeed, and I knew that I had lots of information that I could share with them. I love to speak to groups of people about the small changes they can make to lower their day-to-day stress and improve the quality of their lives.

While the day didn’t quite go the way I had thought that it would, it wound up being a really good day! After my talk, the people in my group knew much more about how I look at life, and how I can help people who are struggling. Therefore, they are in a much better position to be able to refer people to me. It’s, also, possible that some in the group might have been dealing with their own stress, and I may have given them some ideas which will help them to make healthy changes.

All in all, my decision to just relax and speak from my heart worked very well for me. Being able to respond to change in a relaxed, flexible manner is a very important part of stress management. Give it a try!

Until next time,


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