Truthbomb: Most people don’t handle change very well. We get into our routines and schedules, and when we book as tightly as I do sometimes, if one thing slips or doesn’t go right, it throws everything off, changing everything. We can very easily find ourselves freaking out and reacting, instead of responding and adjusting to the changes. I had a situation just recently that really exemplified that to me and made me reflect on how important it is to keep a calm, level head when dealing with unexpected issues. You have to just go with the flow.
I teach an Aromatherapy massage workshop – it’s a clinical application of essential oils and a specific technique designed to deal with how your body responds to stress and achieve greater homeostatic balance, which is ironic given what happened on this particular day. There was a class scheduled for a Sunday which far fewer people had registered for than had initially expressed interest. I was resistant to doing the class because of substantial distance and cost to myself, but 10 people had signed up to take the workshop and I wanted to follow through. By the time Peter and I drove two hours to teach the class at the studio I had made arrangements with, the class was down to 9 people and they were all standing outside the locked, dark space. There was no sign at all of human life inside and no one answering the phone. I managed to get ahold of a cell number for the owner, but she didn’t answer. The 9 women standing there waiting for me were clearly unimpressed. I had to think fast.
I made calls and sent Facebook messages to everyone I could think of – another Canadian founder, two local massage therapists. Either no one responded or was unable to do it. I could feel the frustration growing in the group – and in myself – but I put my own practice into play to remain calm and finally got hold of a friend whose massage practice was 4 minutes away. 30 minutes later, we were sitting in her office and beginning our class.
My friend was beyond generous to let us use her space. She let us in, gave me a key and an envelope to put it in when we locked the door behind us, and said that we’d discuss compensation another time. Simple as that. The workshop went on, and we had a fantastic day. I had the perfect example to point to when I started teaching about stress reduction and being able to flux and respond to the needs of the moment. For whatever reason, we were meant to be in that space, instead of the one I had organized.
There are SO MANY ways this experience could have gone wrong, but they didn’t.
The manager of the original space was SO apologetic. She was mortified, and used that word at least six times when she left me a message about an hour later. She took total responsibility for what had happened, which was important (I really appreciate it when adults act like adults!), and I was immediately able to respond with compassion and kindness.
The people who took time out of their Sunday to work with me were just as impatient as I was to get going and have our venue issue resolved. By staying calm, I was able to treat people with dignity and respect, no one was hurt or offended, and I was able to find find a solution with a friend who was not only able to help but extremely generous in her assistance. It was a great example of homeostasis/finding balance in a time of stress and demand!
This wasn’t some huge event, just a moment in time. We all deal with similar events all the time, when things don’t happen or turn out the way we expected them to. How we respond is up to us. We get to choose how we’re going to handle these moments – with grace and ease, from a high-vibration space that benefits us and those around us, or by sinking into blame and shame, where people get hurt. It is a powerful and gratifying thing to choose grace.
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