My goodness, my gosh….A perfect chance to live out loud, on purpose, authentic and practice what I teach (a.k.a. Walk the Talk)!

Have you ever had “one of those days” when life just seems to throw curve balls, or, maybe dodge balls is a better analogy?

Last month, I had “one of those days” for me and I just have to share with you.

I teach to be Open, Willing, and Vulnerable. I teach Time Management. I teach Stress Management. I teach Work-Life Balance. In fact, I just facilitated learning around all 3 topics a few days ago….little did I know that I would have opportunity to practice a whole bunch of these strategies and techniques in a brief time-frame. I am blessed in that I get to help others experience the same tools in going from stressed to blessed, recognizing leadership abilities and empowering transformation so that we Thrive Where We Are and Grow Where We Dare!

Sometimes though we just wonder how we’re going to get through this day. We all do as it’s our human nature. That being said when we “Walk the Talk” by having tools and techniques available to us through our intentional habits and supportive structures, then we are prepared and shift more quickly and with much less effort from stressed to blessed.

And, I get to live it…here’s what happened….

One afternoon last month: I had planned my timing perfectly for 3 errand stops on the way out of town and just enough time to pick up a package before an office closed in a neighboring town. I was at the last stop, ahead of schedule, and I made the turn too short and hit the curb with my front left tire. I pulled over and discovered a huge bulge on my tire. Heading straight to the dealership, the tire blew 1.5 miles out. I pulled over, breathed a sigh of relief and said a quick prayer of thanks for my safety! When the tow truck operator arrived, he noticed a bulge on back tire (where I hit a curb a couple weeks before). This discovery allowed me to phone dealership 5 minutes before parts department closed and request a second tire! 3 hours later, 2 new tires, oil change and service, alignment, car wash and I was in route to the beach, late but safe! Blessings upon blessings were heaped upon me, and I was able to put into practice everything I teach.

Now, what’s all this got to do with Walking the Talk?

And, what are the lessons for both you and me?

1.  Time Management – I had things planned out perfectly, but God had other plans. Did I complain, gossip, quit or blame others for all the “bad” things happening to me? No. Admittedly, last week I did feel a bit frustrated and shared my frustrations with a couple friends – hey, we’re all human [7 Principles To Peace & Beyond, Principle #6 – Don’t Do It Alone]. I also had Derek Rydall, my mentor coach, words of wisdom in my tool belt, “Plan your life like you’re in control; live your life like God is in control.”

By practicing and developing supportive habits and techniques we can be open, willing and vulnerable and dare to show it. This allows us the ability to shift perspectives, notice and experience the good in the world. And, live out loud that which is truly important for each of us – for me, relationships.

2.  Stress Management – deep proper centering breaths. This is the best stress reducing technique available, when we remember to utilize it. I encourage you to make a daily habit of prayer, meditation and/or proper breathing so you are well practiced and have it quickly available when really needed. 

You should have seen me breathing, standing on the side of the road with state security patrol folks awaiting the tow truck as cars zoomed by. Security folks left once confirmation received that the tow was in route, then back in the car with the A/C keeping me cool catching up on a few calls and before I knew it the tow truck arrived to the rescue.

3.  Work-Life Balance – identify your priorities, make time for them and fill in your schedule from there. If we are not intentional about good self-care and making sure we address the most important and urgent things first, then we are at risk of succumbing to overwhelm and stress as time slips away while we’re asleep at the wheel. You really do have the power to choose – use your power wisely.

For me, balance includes times of work and play at the coast, which was my out of town destination yesterday. Indeed, I did make it and just before midnight, thanks to the help of so many people.

As is true for so many, I once struggled seeing choices and realizing inner power, especially when in the midst of prolonged stress. 7 Principles to Peace & Beyond, Principle #6 – Don’t Do It Alone comes in play again whereby we must have the courage to be open, willing and vulnerable to seek and accept help to get us unstuck and moving forward towards what we most want and desire.

In the words of Johnny Mercer’s song, Accentuate the Positive, Eliminate the Negative. Cultivate more of what you want and less of what you don’t want and be kind to yourself along the journey. 

4.  Have FUN! – So, I mentioned last month, I had a blown tire, was standing roadside, had 2nd tire ready to blow…all this took me completely off of my planned schedule and all started because I misjudged the turn and hit a curb. And honestly, with all of this going on (some may say wrong) and I still had so much fun. 

By starting immediately with proper breaths, I began to wonder what calamities this tire issue was causing me to avoid. I quickly discovered it most likely was the back tire that was ready to blow. Blessing.

Laughter….I laughed with car dealership folks (at least 7 folks there). I laughed with the roadside assistance associate, with the tow company dispatcher, with the tow truck driver, with many friends whom I texted or called to share my experience. All the other choices, such as anger, blame, whatever, just did not occur to me. I was in the situation and choose to make the best of it.

Laugh and laugh often and have fun!

Abound in grace, Karen