If you’ve ever faced an unexpected event that threatened to derail something you’ve worked on for a long time, you know, as I do, that it’s a good idea to have a strategy or two to in place in order to react quickly and effectively and, with your intellect functioning under full power. I was reminded of this last week, the day before our screening of Sacred Journey of the Heart to international distributors during the Cannes Film Festival. I’m very grateful I was able to tap into my “Presence-Peace-Power” equation, because I certainly needed it!
I had lived through plenty of times where my default pattern was to go into what I now identify as Presumption-Panic-Impairment. As I revealed in the film, this pattern originated in my past of childhood abuse. All my HeartMath training and Radical Forgiveness work in the course of making the film gave me the healing tools I needed so that I would not: a) “presume the worst”, b) go into a panic and then c) make decisions and take actions that were “intellectually impaired”. We know now that the under stress and panic, the body marshals its reserves for a real battle, moving blood and oxygen supplies away from the higher cortical thinking centers of the brain and into the large muscles of the legs, arms and chest to prepare for action. This state does not facilitate good intellectual decision making!
It was Sunday morning and my distribution representative mentioned to me that I needed to bring my film’s blu-ray disk to the projection office for the screening the next day, Monday night at 8 pm. I was on my way out the door to attend a producers’ breakfast workshop and looking forward to an interesting day. When he told me this, my heart felt like it stopped for a moment, and I said, “Um, what do you mean me? I’m supposed to deliver a blu-ray disk? I don’t have one with me in France! I thought you had everything we needed for the screening!” He reminded me that we had emailed about this a few months ago — and then my heart felt like it actually dropped, when I had to admit, “OMG, I forgot! The blu-ray disks are in my office in Phoenix!”
I could feel my old panic pattern begin raise its head as my heart was gearing up to start pounding. The second I felt this sensation, I stopped and focused on my heart, and consciously slowed down my breathing and my heart rate itself as I internally told myself, “ease-up, take a minute, slow down”. I had learned HeartMath’s latest technique called “Inner Ease” when I completed my training last December and this was my immediate go-to technique. Instead of allowing my imagination to go down the road of seeing a room full of distribution professionals and no film for them to view, I focused on tapping into a feeling of easing up and staying in Presence – or the present moment. We had time, albeit not much, to find a solution!
I was able to consciously slow down my heart rate because I’ve practiced heart coherence for a few years now. As a result, I can prevent myself from going into a full physiological adrenal stress response when it’s not needed. I’m sure I had a small burst of adrenaline but this is not a bad thing when you know how to come back to balance quickly. As Dr. Deborah Rozman, President of HeartMath LLC, says in the film, “In a state of coherence, you learn to live from a place where your heart and brain are in balance, your decisions are better and you don’t wear out your body!”
If you’re interested in learning the specific techniques of how to do this too, I’ll be teaching a 3 hour online HeartMath webinar that you can attend from anywhere as long as you have a computer and the internet. The webinar will include specific instructions on the Inner Ease practice and a number of other effective HeartMath techniques to use in these types of situations as well as in ordinary day to day interactions. The webinar will take place on June 14 from 9 to noon, Pacific time. Click here for more details.
After a minute or so of going into presence and inner peace, I was able to take effective action. I got on the phone to Fed Ex in the USA to find out if they could move heaven and earth and get a DVD from Arizona to southern France in less than 48 hours, beginning on a Sunday (it turns out they could!) At the same, we asked our distribution rep to call the film screening office at the Palais in Cannes to find out if they could project a high quality replicated DVD, of which I had brought plenty with me to France. It took about 30 minutes to get it all sorted out, but the good news is that from this place of power, versus panic, we were able to get to a quick and easy solution. And I didn’t put myself into massive physiological stress in the time that it took for us find the best solution for the issue at hand.
We had a full theater for our film screening on Monday night and the film looked as beautiful as ever (thanks Skip and Scott, our director and editor!) I encourage you to give yourself the gift of learning some practical techniques that improve the quality of your life in every day situations as well as those unexpected occurrences that inevitably come up!
Have you ever had one of those days when things were just not working out? I had one of those days yesterday and rather than bore you with the details, I’ll just share what I did to get out of the pits and into the place of positive perspective. I call it L-A-U-G-H! And I share my “laugh resources” below. But first, did you know that on Tuesday, May 6, a new world laughter record was set by 1,950 elders in Dada Dadi park in Borivli, India? Here’s a great photo of the group in action!
We know that laughter can be the best medicine. Norman Cousins’ groundbreaking work on laughter changed the way we think about emotion and healing 38 years ago. Read the rest of this entry