Yesterday, I had anxiety. It was the first time in a long time. But, as a person who’s spent the better part of his life with anxiety, it was an unwelcome revisit.
Overnight, my inbox filled. The post office mistakenly returned turn packages that really needed to go out. I reviewed everything we need to get done for work before I leave for Aruba, including finishing the Sacred Branding eCourse, finalizing the Sacred Mastermind, and getting the next Sacred Circle ready. And realized all of this needs to be sorted, finalized, and finished in less than 20 days.
My heart started racing. I was fidgety. And I was flooded with flashbacks of years past when this was my normal.
I remembered a moment years ago in PR. I had an intern at the time. I remember that we were busy—crazy busy with deadlines. And all of them were high priority. It was a very stressful environment around the office that day, and just the two of us were there.
She started to get worked up, on the verge of tears. So I remember saying, “Okay, get up. We have something more important to do.”
And she said, “We can’t just leave. We’re in the middle of a crisis.”
And she was right. But, in that mental state, we weren’t going to be nearly efficient enough. So we got up. We took three laps around the block. I bought her an ice cream. And I said, “Listen, we’re only human. We can realistically only do one thing at a time. So we’re going to walk around, calm down, make a prioritized list of what needs to get done, and then check it off one at a time. Never think about the whole list. Just think of the next item that you’re on. And where we end up is where we end up. The world will still keep turning.”
A few hours later, our list was done. Before even our deadlines. I’m still not quite sure how that’s physically possible, but it happened. Because we just focused on the one item in front of us.
So I did that. Yesterday, I did that. I went from a long walk to the post office to figure out what went wrong and to calm down. Then I had my business meeting by phone on the way back. Then I dealt with the e-mails I needed to send out. And the coordination I needed to put in place to make sure things would get done.
And a few hours later, I didn’t feel stressed at all. I mean, there’s still plenty to get done. And it’s still going to be a busy now-19 days, finalizing two weddings, having one, packing and making sure Roscoe is all set, confirming all participants in the Sacred Mastermind, filling the rest of the Sacred Circle and making sure it’s ready, creating the rest of the content for the Sacred Branding eCourse, creating and facilitating our Sacred Gathering mastermind call, and dealing with any last-minute issues that come up.
But, without the emotional overwhelm, it’s just a bunch of stuff to do—stuff that will inevitably get done. It’s my job to continue to remove the overwhelm and to fully emotionally process the experiences. Because the overwhelm is hardly related to the to-do list and much more related to the emotional aspects of each of these events—not least of which is the wedding.
It’s amazing to think that I used to live with daily anxiety. Only I didn’t realize it. It was so normalized to me. And now, years later, anxiety is such a foreign feeling to me that when it hits, it really makes an impression.
And it’s even more amazing to realize just how much of overwhelm is often emotional. Sure, it seems like a lot of stuff. But it’s the emotions of “Can I do this? Will it be good enough? Will I forget something? Will it be too rushed?” that are actually wreaking havoc. Otherwise, it’s just a list of things to do.
And, for the next 19 days, I only have a list of things to do.