Ok, this is a strange blog post I know, but hey- sometimes it happens – and this year – boy did it ever happen to me. So I’m figuring that you may have had a similar bad start to the year – maybe not this year, but at least once in your life – and if you did – please share it with me and if there were any lessons learned. And I tell you what – the best 3 stories will get a special prize! But – hey I may win my own prize.
But I figure if my first day was this bad in the New Year, then the rest of the year should be GREAT! Just getting it all out in the beginning.
So here’s what happened…
December office was busy, trying to shut down for the holiday plans, the “holidays “(really we need another word here) were also at a fast pace as my family chose to split up the festivities this year, so it was 3 days of prep and 5 days of different cities and celebrating (not including new years). But I love the holidays, giving presents and feeling all the warm vibes of the season, so I was tired but enjoyed it. But I did feel I was trying to make everyone else happy and exhausted myself in the process. That’s sign #1.
But then I came down with a 2 week sinus affection that didn’t allow me to sleep, eat or breathe properly. I had black eyes from this infection. And I am the person who doesn’t get colds even when I have sick people around me, so it was surprising. Perhaps a sign to slow down.
During this time I also found out that a good friend of mine died and I attended the funeral and Shiva. So that was a hard reminder that love and friendships are precious. It was also a reminder that we’re all on a silent egg timer and we never know when the bell will ring for us.
A few days later I return to work and a business deal and relationship I am deeply involved in (and really enjoy) seems to have gone to hell in a hand basket (who made up this expression, it’s really good). I am hoping this will end on a positive note, but the journey to get there is really horribly difficult, time costly and dragged me down emotionally for 3 days where I couldn’t even move – which is weird as I am typically the girl you call in any traumatic experience. I am a rock and a strong guide in tough situations. I was a crisis manager for pete-sake! I can handle pressure.
But I must have been so sick, so exhausted and overwhelmed by the feeling of being let down, that it contributed to my emotional state. In fact I almost missed New Years over it because I was so devastated by their actions. Mostly because when they were really making big mistakes and I covered for them and was as forgiving as Mother Theresa. Why don’t people appreciate or remember those things? Do we have to be feared in business to get respect and appreciation? I should be furious but I mostly feel disappointed. I rationalize it thinking that even good people can do strange actions when they are emotionally or financially struggling, it helps people act from fear and lash out at others.
That same day (my first day back to work), my staff accidentally erased 3 of my main business websites. Thank god for back-ups!! This has created a few days of me trying not to panic, but it is slowly being resolved as we speak. But I couldn’t get mad because who can get upset at someone who is more upset at themselves, than I could ever be? Mistakes can happen.
Then for some strange reason my outlook refused to open, so I had no way of looking at past, present or future emails. Weird. It later repaired itself. It may have been a sign to walk away.
Did I mention that my grandmother is ill?
Seriously, I’m not sure you can top 8 years of work being wiped out in 1 day, a death of a friend, a possible end to a part of a business I enjoyed, computer failures and feeling like crap? – but hey you can try. Be my guest.
So what do I take from all this???? Well you may have more enlightening answers (and if you do please send them my way).
Here was my thought process:
Ok, someone cursed me.
Ok, everyone but me is crazy.
Ok, I must suck at business.
Ok, I must be the crazy one and don’t see it. Well, I am talking to myself here.
Jeez, I am dehydrated from crying. Can someone get dehydrated from tears?
Ok, maybe a possible (hopefully not) end to a partnership deal, my business being deleted is a signal for me to become a vet. I love animals – but no, can’t operate on them. Vet is out – plus I don’t look good in white, I need more color.
Hmmm, Ok, I should go back to bed, and hide under the covers until I can smell tulips in March. Hopefully my husband will remember to keep feeding our dog. He probably won’t. Damn! I have to get out of bed.
Ok, am I going to let this get me down??? Hell yes!
……Ok, try again, am I going to let this get me down and quit? Well, maybe I can look at the positives; maybe SOME people still love me. Maybe I shouldn’t take this one weird week as the representative of my 8 years of doing good work on the planet and helping so many people find their way and reach for more. Ok, feeling better.
Getting Proper Perspective Back
Why is it I pay more attention to negative actions of a few, than the many more positives? I know why, because I try so hard to please everyone, and it just doesn’t work all the time.
Maybe the world has better things to do than single me out for a take-down, after all, I’m not one of the bad guys – just an imperfect woman trying to be perfect 24/7 and make the lives of others a better place. Bound to make some errors, maybe I have. Maybe I should forgive others and forgive myself. Hmm, good start. That feels better.
Next – look at the bright side: Ok, I have my health back, which is so important. My personal relationships are great right now. My dog is super cute and definitely still loves me.
I have incredible circle of people in my group this year – really top notch and include some of my favorite people. I am also looking forward to seeing my new MIT members change & grow and helping them along the way like a proud mum.
I may have lost 3 pounds from my cold, which makes up for the chocolate binge on the 3 days I was feeling sorry for myself and not getting off my sofa. Ok, I’m on to caramels now – and I am currently accepting chocolate or caramel donations.
I am also reminded of an email my good friend, our fabulous MIT coach and circle member Nat said to me last year. He said his computer froze, and at first he panicked – but then he sought to see the beauty and positive in his situation. He realized that all he needed to do was do a “de-fragmentation” repair on his computer – this also mirrored his office. So he took this spare time to clean up all the bits of paper and stuff cluttering up his office and felt a weight lift. Both he and his computer got a clean-up that day.
So taking Nat’s advice (after all not only is he a rocking MIT Coach, but he is also a Buddhist monk and entrepreneur. That’s a strong combination) I reflected …
… And thought- if my whole business disappeared (which it did temporarily) – would I be ok? Yes, I can rebuild. I would find a way. Or maybe this is a wake-up call that I should look at changing the program and starting with a fresh perspective. I have been meaning to do updates. Or maybe start something totally new. Is there something else I have been meaning to do? Is there a new path?
Regarding the deal and partnership that I so treasured… I will keep in my thoughts that both my partner and I will be very happy with whatever the outcome or resolution may be and remain friends and still send each other business. Perhaps letting go is good – even though it scares me and fills me with unanswered questions about the future.
This also made me realize – when things went – poof! Gone! That we have a CHOICE to be here. We have a choice to keep offering the same programs or start again from scratch or even change what we do every day. No one is forcing you to stay at your job, even though it may feel like that sometimes. We always have a CHOICE to look for new solutions or not.
It made me remember that in ANY industry you will meet villains, saints and people who do things you just don’t understand (out of fear, jealousy, negative belief systems or desperation), so accept that. There will be people you help who may resent you for your help later. I think dogs are the only animals that won’t bite you after you feed them. People unfortunately can sometimes. What’s with the dog theme here?
Letting Go Of My Maps
I don’t have everything planned to perfection as I typically do at this time of year. I choose to not feel panicked about that. Ok, I repeat, I choose not to feel panicked (I feel like Dorothy clicking her heels and deeply concentrating here – this is hard). After all I think if there is one life lesson Stefanie Hartman is supposed to learn it’s that you can TRUST life more. Life has a way of working out. Life has its own map & timeline. I hate not having full direction by now, not seeing what is to come. I can adjust plans, but I typically need to have some direction. I love maps! So I’m easing up on that somewhat. Yes I will identify a few goals, but if I don’t know where my next income is going to be made I will TRUST more that it will (back to the shoes clicking).
Letting Go & Taking a Stand for Me
I will not compare myself or my progress to others as that only ends badly. I just realized that when I compare myself to others, I never compare to those ‘below’ me, just ‘above’ me (basically whoever has something I would also like to have)? Really this is not a fair comparison without the two perspectives. While there will be people smarter, more successful, “luckier”, prettier, taller, whatever, there will also be people whose life you would never trade for. Many people have greater challenges and discomfort or pain. I will remember the bigger picture and be grateful every day.
There are very successful people who can feel like failures because they hold themselves to ridiculous standards or ‘fail’ their own self-imposed timelines. I do not want to be one of them.
I will also retain my own successes in my mind and heart with personal pride and not let my achievements diminish as soon as they are accomplished for fear of being egotistical. Being happy for myself is not a negative thing, especially when I am genuinely happy for those around me too. I will no longer put my own happiness in second, third or fourth place.
I will continue to run my business in a way I am proud of, even if others are “getting ahead” faster through not so pleasant methods.
I will be proud of myself and TRUST that my life has its own timeline and I cannot plan everything.
I will stretch time and spend 8 hours a month connecting with a business & personal relationships – out of the blue. Telling them how much I care for them.
I will not hold onto what I think ‘should happen’ with a tight grip, even if I am sad or have fear – as I will trust that if it is not meant to work out (no matter what it is), gripping it will only give me a hand cramp and waste time and energy. Letting things fall where they may, makes room for something better that I may never have even imagined.
It is possible that the plan I have is not as great as the plan the universe has. I am betting on you universe – so now’s your chance.
I will do more things in love of life and in spite of fear.
Humanity has gotten me down a bit this past year, so maybe I should add a project that will show the charitable and unexpected sides of people, or do something to help rescue distressed animals. I will meditate on this. Having a positive project may be good for me.
I will learn how to meditate.
I will continue to take the risk of opening myself up to the world (and who ever reads this, thank you), keep being transparent, VULNERABLE and real – and hope that I don’t need to be ‘perfect’ and a shark for others to see that while I have vulnerable moments I have many more moments of great strength, that in fact being vulnerable, not putting on a persona in public takes great courage and strength.
I will try not to take to heart the 1 or 2 negative emails I get from people every so often. I will instead put more weight on the hundreds of positive ones.
I will let myself be wrong occasionally and forgive myself. I will forgive others as well.
Whenever I feel fear, I will remember its ‘made up’, not real, and I will trust more.
I will work on getting my body into a gym, and getting my mind/soul into some fun activities as well as some soul searching.
I will go and get some more chocolate caramels because I just missed lunch.
I will not be so hard on myself.
I will keep my sense of humor…it may be the last thing I take with me on earth.
Foreshadow: I‘m thinking my next year’s blog post may be about visiting the dentist from all these milk duds I am eating. Ok I’m done with eating chocolate – free milk dud boxes for those who think they can top this!
Maybe if I keep saying MILK DUDS the company will sponsor my blog, milk duds, milk duds, and no calls yet…I will keep trying later.
Thanks for listening…..
Your friend, mentor (hopefully still after this crazy blog post) and person who may be YOUR biggest fan and cheerleader,
PS – Please post your proper email address as will will be contacting the winners!
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