by Kelly Beischel PhD, RN, CAPP, CPPC
Your inbox is precious.
And when you give someone your email address it means that you want their message in your inbox. In other words, you expect to hear from them.
But I have over 80 people who have never heard from me after submitting their email addresses on my website.
As crazy as it sounds, I didn’t know this. I thought they had been receiving emails from me this whole time.
I thought they were receiving my emails.
Imagine my dismay when two weeks ago I discovered that even though they registered to receive emails from me they hadn’t been receiving them because their name and email address were sent to a different list than the one from which we use to send my emails.
I discovered this error while being trapped in technology hell the past three weeks.
I may or may not have used some colorful language when crying to my husband about my email-list-snafu discovery.
In my defense of using the colorful language, a day prior to this discovery, the shopping cart on my website broke, interrupting a whole day’s work and causing a delay in delivering a proposal to someone interested in working with me.
The following week, the cart intermittently kept breaking. We also found broken links to important documents in my membership vault. Unfortunately, the technology glitches didn’t end there but I’ll save you from having to hear about it all.
The most distressing part?
Every time I had a technology glitch that I had to take care of – my writing and creative work halted, putting me further and further behind.
If you’re wondering, how can one run an online business when the online part of the business isn’t working?
Not efficiently anyway.
Despite this, I forged ahead and finished creating my card deck of 52 evidence-based strategies to live a happier, kick-ass life. (Yes, I celebrated this win!)
And then my technology issues spun out of control just as I was creating the order page for my card deck.
Or perhaps that was me who was spinning out of control. 🙂
Decision making when in a state of chaos
The thing is, even in my frantic and frustrated state I knew that I was making bad decisions about what to prioritize and how to move my important work forward. I just couldn’t jump off the frantic merry go round.
Because I knew that my poor decision making had to stop. I went for a walk.
I knew I needed to re-center and rethink how I was going to accomplish all that I wanted to accomplish. And walking is a form of therapy for me.
But with each step I took, I felt my panic rising.
Panic that I will never get those damn cards in the hands of people who need them. Panic to get back at it. Panic that life was going to fall apart. Panic that I couldn’t do all the things.
Then I tried to calm my thoughts by running, an act of desperation at its finest. And if you’ve seen me run – you know this wasn’t a pretty sight.
It didn’t work. Trying to outrun chaotic thoughts never does.
Have you ever felt this kind of panic?
I hope not.
It’s not fun.
I needed to halt my chaotic brain. So this is what I did.
I began pointing to and naming aloud the objects I saw as I walked.
And soon after…
My breathing slowed down. My heart stopped racing. My thoughts became focused.
Pointing and naming objects is a simple yet magical mindfulness strategy – costing us nothing yet offering us the world.
How does this work?
Calming our brain by naming the objects around us brings our attention to the present and allows us to focus. And it’s from this present and focused state that we experience our best ideas and make our best decisions.
I went back to my apartment with a focused brain and made the decision to hire two experts to fix my website and shopping cart woes.
Best. Decision. Ever.
Yes. Hiring experts to help me seems like a no brainer now.
Yes. I wish I had hired them sooner.
But the brain doesn’t think rationally when it’s busy running amok.
Hence, the need to turn toward mindfulness strategies sooner.
Naming objects and reaching out for help put me back in the groove of living a meaningful, fulfilled, and happy life. And for that I am thankful. Likewise, I’m thankful for the lessons I learned in this process.
What mindfulness strategy do you use when your brain is in chaos, when you need to re-focus and re-center? I’d love to hear. Hit reply and let me know.
I am also thankful for you. I’m grateful that you allow me to pop into your inbox to connect with you.
For those who celebrate, I wish you the best of all that Thanksgiving brings. And for those who don’t, I wish you the best of weeks.
Lots of love to you and yours,
PS If you liked this mindfulness strategy and want more strategies to increase your energy, meaning, engagement, positivity, and success, as well as strategies to deepen your relationships, click here and check out my evidence-based strategies card deck. Your happiness will be glad you did.
PSS Contrary to belief, Apple computers can and do (just ask me) become infected with Malware! Yes, this is one of the reasons I had so many technological issues. I used malwarebytes to scan, quarantine, and dispose of my malware infection.