What happened to September? How does the Mastery Mindset enable perseveranceand boost performance? How do I thrive in the midst of crisis and suffocating stress?Read on to find out!
When Crisis Hits Home
Everything is a blur from 8/28 to 9/28. I lost the entire month of September. Life changed the instant I heard the words, “His O2 saturation is 44%; we have him stable for now on High- Flow oxygen and his O2 is back to 100%. However, he is critically ill and may not make it.” I heard those words over the phone, sitting in my car in the hospital parking lot, after taking my husband of 24 years to the ER because he couldn’t breathe. Pat was put in isolation, diagnosed with acute respiratory failure due to COVID Pneumonia. I couldn’t see him. I couldn’t talk to him. I sat in my car barely hearing the nurse’s last words, “Go home, there’s nothing you can do here.”
I drove home in a numb state; making calls to direct family to update them on what had just happened. Once home, I stood alone in the house, realizing that Pat may never see it again. For a few minutes, I fell into the ditch of hopelessness and despair. I walked to the bedroom and stood in our closet, looking at his clothes. “Nothing I can do???” In that second I elevated to defiance and angry determination. No, there is plenty that I can do!! As a person of faith, prayer started during the 20 minutes that I sat in the ER parking lot waiting to hear if my husband would be ok.But now prayer took on a different fervor and I began to gather the prayer army that would be pivotal in Pat’s recovery for the next 22 days and beyond. While battling a milder version of COVID myself, quarantined at my home, I experienced first hand the value of Energy Management and the Mastery Mindset. I believed that God woulddeliver Pat through this crisis. From an energy perspective, I had to accept the situation for what it was while releasing the “why him” and “why me” thoughts and reframing fears as they crept in. I focused on my belief that he would come home at some point, and paid more attention to every moment rather than race ahead to the world of “what if.”
Pat spent 11 days in the ICU. While we FaceTimed occasionally, it was easier for him if we texted. I called the ICU many times each day to check on his status; the Nurses were not just amazing, they were a Godsend. My mission was to sustain Pat’s belief that God would save him and that his body could beat this illness, regardless of what he was experiencing…and do so mostly through texts. I listened and gave him space to vent, to feel, to think. I helped him reframe perspective and we both learned the value of being fully engaged in the present and to celebrate the little wins. Simultaneously, I tried to manage my own self-care; reminded by my dearest friend that I have to be at my optimal performance as Pat would need a lot of support once discharged. Those who know me best, pointed out my obligation as a leader, what I have always preached, that self-care is the foundation to being your best self. Pat spent an additional 11 days in the Intermediate Care ward. Released from isolation, I was finally able to visit. Most days I was there from 8 am to 8 pm. The journey was not linear.
There were many ups and downs. Progress made daily for several days then suddenly, inexplicably, a major setback. Was it easier to support Pat in person? Absolutely, but it didn’t make the journey less bumpy. We had to continually practice acceptance of the current condition and then focus on the next moment. I had to resist the temptation to hurry him into hopefulness when a setback occurred and instead, give him space to process through his feelings of frustration, anger and hopelessness as his view of the “finish line” seemed to be moved farther away. He regrouped to a sense of determination on his own as a result.
Pat was discharged on Sep 18th, very weak but more than ready to continue his recovery at home. His progress since then has been truly miraculous! In less than 3 weeks he has gone from being on oxygen 100% of the time to now not being on oxygen at all. He’s not at optimal health yet but we will continue our Success Formula:
The Mastery Mindset
No matter how hard you try, you cannot CONTROL results. There are so many variables! Even if you specifically think about a goal that only involves you, the hard fact is that you cannot control the result. Yet, most people focus primarily on results. Results drives their sense of accomplishment or failure; results dictate their level of happiness or frustration; in essence, their lives are at the mercy of results…outcomes that they do not control. No wonder so many people feel stressed! The key to optimal performance and freedom of choice is NOT to focus on results!! There. I said it. It may seem counterintuitive, but the more you focus on results, the less effective you are. Instead, focus on the PROCESS. In terms of how we experience life, think of every thing you do as a performance that in itself is a process. Focus on the process and the desired results will take care of themselves. This is the Mastery Mindset.
Energy undergirds the process focus. Where is your energy today, right now, as you are reading this newsletter. Is it where you want it to be? Are you feeling aligned and authentic? If not, consider exercising your freedom to choose; shift your energy to where it needs to be. Remember, you are always at choice. Sometimes you just need to take a step back to see it.
PAUSE >> BREATHE >> REFRAME
literally stop for a moment, give yourself space to step back and see the whole picture.
yes, take a few breaths; deeply and slowly
consider what you are thinking and feeling in this moment; decide if that’s how you really want to show up. Consider other perspectives and options; shift your energy to what aligns with your authentic self.
Sound simple? It is. So what’s the catch? Well, in order to create a productive habit you must actually DO IT repeatedly. The only thing getting in your way is YOU. Want to learn how to get out of your own way? Click the button at the bottom of this newsletter!
“Twende Mbali Pamoja”
Twende Mbali Pamoja = Go Farther Together in Swahili, the language of the families in South Sudan that are in dire need of clean water sources. While this is a sentiment that is true for KC Team World Vision who are poised to run the half or full marathon races on 10/16; it is also true of most things in life. Together, we can make a difference. Sometimes it can seem overwhelming and you may wonder, what can I do? I am just one person.
The truth is that each of us can work together, even if we are separated by many miles. We can work together to change the lives of others in impactful ways. Every morning we wake up here in the USA and we hop into the shower or we turn on the faucet to brush our teeth, or we turn on the coffee pot for our morning brew. Simple actions that we take for granted. For my friends in the South Sudan, the girls and women wake up and gather their containers to walk an average of 6k to fetch dirty, diseased water and they do this many times per day.
I run (or this year run/walk) to raise awareness and money for these families to have ready access to clean, life sustaining water. With only 3 weeks to get my lungs into shape post COVID, I completed an 8 mile training run last Saturday. I know the 13.1 miles will be tough, but I’ll go home to a hot shower with clean water. I want to bringthis basic convenience to families in Africa. Everyone should have access to clean water! Please consider joining me by clicking on the image and donating. Every dollar counts!
Remember – we can do anything Pamoja (together)!
Diane WilhelmYou can’t always choose you’re circumstances, but you can always chooseyour attitude!
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