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B101: How to not lose your ISH when you lose your ISH

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If you’ve lost something valuable recently, you know how hard it is to not lose your ISH when you lose your ISH! As in, how do you stay calm when you’ve misplaced something incredibly important? Oh friends, have I got a story to tell you today!!

Earlier this week, I spoke with Elizabeth Kracht, all about how to write your first book. And since today is Valentine’s Day, I had originally planned on doing an episode all about self-love and how to cultivate deeper connection with your friends. BUT… the Universe threw me a curveball a few days ago and I’ve got to tell you about it.

So, um, yeah… here’s what happened.

Last Friday, I was setting off to catch a train to London and I had given myself two hours to make the 15 minute drive to get there. (I gave myself two hours!!) I was trying to set myself up for success by putting in all that extra buffer time and ultimately, to avoid rushing. But life had different plans.

There was a massive festival happening in Nottingham that evening called Light Night and the entire city centre was in gridlock. All streets going in to the city and heading out were all at a total standstill.

My Waze estimated time of arrival kept inching closer and closer to the time my train was set to depart. (American friends: here’s the thing to note… trains typically run like clockwork. So if a train says it’s going to set off at 6:45pm, it’s most times right on the money, not a minute later. You miss it, you’re SOL and have to buy another $80 ticket. No bueno.) 

And so at some point after sitting in harrowing traffic, I made a quick decision and pulled off the road to stash the car in a hotel parking lot. (It was one I knew well as it was directly across the street from my old offices.) And it also happened to be about a half a mile from the train station, meaning I banked on the idea that I could run faster to get on that train by foot, than attempt to get there, inch by inch with my car.

So, I parked that car, kicked my adrenaline into high gear “insanity” mode, strapped my purse onto my wheelie luggage handle, and took off in a mad dash. I had 15 minutes before my train departed, a half a mile journey by foot ahead, and I’m currently running 10 minute mile when I workout at the gym.

My overly confident brain did the math and said, “I can do this, I can make it! Run faster, Mary!!”

Long story short, I dipped and dove like a mad woman through the thousands and thousands of people who were downtown for the festival, wheeling my luggage wildly behind me. The trams in the city were also delayed, so I had to do the entire half mile (or 1000 steps as per Google) all by foot. I kept thinking, “God, what are you trying to tell me in this moment? What’s the message here??” 

Huffing and puffing, sweating like an Ultra Marathon runner, I also thought, “well this should DEFINITELY count as my workout today, right?”

The last bit of the journey was nuts… The unusually long steps from the top platform to the train station, likely there to slow down people like me who are running way too fast. The slipperiness of the roads from the recent rain. This was NO time to get a sprained ankle or another tailbone injury. Instead, I kept on running, hyper aware of my feet (but very little else), thinking, “I can do this, I can do this!! I’m going to make that train. Keep going, Mary!”

And just as the conductor blew his whistle, I leapt onto my train with literally 30 seconds to spare before it set off for London. SUCCESS! I made it… I have no idea how I did it, but I made it on my train. After a long while of catching my breath and slowly down my heart rate, I started to settle down into my seat. It was at that point where I did the check… phone? Check. Keys? Yup. Wallet? — Wait a sec, where’s my wallet??!!

The train has long left the station, barreling its way down to London. Here I was, still sweating like crazy, heart racing, and realizing I’ve lost my wallet somewhere along the way.

It took EVERYTHING in my heart to not lose my ISH in that moment. 

All of my credit cards. Both my Texas drivers license and my UK one. All of my super important stuff… all of it was in there. And somehow, my wallet had fallen out of my purse. (Remember, the one that was tenderly strapped to the very top of my wheelie luggage?) 

My heart sank. What do I do in this moment? Carry on to London without any ID or credit cards or money to speak of? Do I rest my hope in the kindness of others that if one of the thousands (and thousands!) of people at the festival will find it and magically return it to me? Could I sit calmly through that 2 hour train journey and not have a complete freakout in this moment?

Or do I get off at the next stop and retrace my steps? What would you’ve done in that moment, if you were me? 

I got off. 

I retraced my entire journey from start to finish, the entire half of a mile to hopefully spot my red wallet somewhere along the way. “Maybe I just left it in my car somewhere? Maybe it’s just there and I was moving way too fast and carelessly,” I thought. I prayed. I hoped this was all a silly mistake and my wallet would just be sitting there inside my car and all would be fine.

But it wasn’t. And things were starting to feel NOT fine at all.

So yeah, the wallet was gone. Adios, bye Felicia, totally, utterly gone.

And here’s what I learned in that moment:

  • believe in the kindness of people
  • surrender to the situation
  • slow the HELL down

Here are 3 simple ways to not lose your ISH today:

 

  • Believe in the kindness of people 

 

Yes, my stinkin’ thinkin’ went straight to the idea that someone, somewhere was going to find my wallet, try to use my credit cards and steal my identity. But in order to not lose my ISH in that moment, I had to consciously place my mindset in a healthier place. People are kind. If this wallet is slated to be returned to me, kind people will help make that happen. And if the wallet is gone forever, people are kind and I’m fully supported in this moment. The East Midlands Railway train staff helped me get to London after all, without having to buy another $80 ticket. (thank you!) The Crowne Plaza Nottingham reception team comped my parking. (thank you too!) My friends loaned me cash when I needed it, and listened with tenderness when I recounted the incredible story. (thank you the most!) Even though this horrible thing happened and it’ll be tedious to replace all of those credit and debit cards… I’m reminded of the overwhelming GOODNESS in humanity. People are good. This I know is true.

 

  • Surrender to the situation 

 

When crappy things happen, how do you respond? As a Type A, card-carrying control freak who wants to micromanage every moment in my schedule and unconsciously, innocently I find myself wanting to do the same with the people around me… this one is HUGE. (And can I just say… that’s incredibly embarrassing to reveal that.) So really, this is a gentle reminder to myself. When I remember to surrender to the situation rather than try to white-knuckle it and attempt to strive for control, things will turn out better. 

Surrender to the fact that a higher power might be at play here. It’s not yours to carry. Release your attempt at trying to control the outcome, control the experience, control it all… and see what that feels like today. Remember, if you’ve got warrior energy inside you (like me)… surrender doesn’t mean giving up. It means giving space.  And that can be incredibly healing.

 

  • Slow the HELL down! 

 

Ugh! I feel like this is a lesson God is trying to show me over and over and over again… and I get it. And then I get busy in work or thought or just the rat race of life and I forget. And then the cycle starts all over again. WHAM! Here’s the lesson once again. 

SLOW DOWN. If you’re finding yourself rushing today and white-knuckling your calendar like a maniac… I want you to think of me. Running like a lunatic, trying to catch my train. And losing my wallet. Had I just slowed down, yes I would’ve had to buy another train ticket and spent $80 begrudgingly… but I wouldn’t have the nightmare of replacing all of my cards, the hassle and worry that’s plagued me for days afterwards… and not to mention, the money it’ll cost to replace my most valuable things in that wallet. 

Well, let’s just say… it’ll cost me a heckuva lot MORE than $80. Slow down. Even though you likely capable of superhuman feats… life is better when experienced slower. And you get to keep your wallet, too.

Maybe it’s just that simple.


One final whisper

If you’ve lost your wallet recently or misplaced something super important in your life, oh man, I’m right there with you. The feeling of loss, the “would’ve-should’ve-could’ve” loop of negative self-talk that makes you feel like a real dummy, right? It’s all there… I feel it too.

Remember, hold the things you love loosely. What is truly permanent in your life?

Stay calm, ground yourself and give yourself space to retrace your steps. Immediately after all of this happened and I was on the later train headed to London (without my wallet), I gave myself the time and space to write it all down. What happened? Where was I? What did it feel like? When you write down your story, you shed new light on the situation… new insight will come forth.

And who knows, maybe that’ll help you remember where exactly you lost your ISH… and where to find it again.

Don’t beat yourself up over this, especially if you made a few dum-dum, snap decisions in the moment. (Um, hello… case in point over here!) Yes, I was rushing and yes, I could’ve made a better choice. But dwelling here doesn’t help anyone… 

  1. Feel the feels. 
  2. Give space to process it. 
  3. And then make the conscious decision to think a new thought. Remember, this story could’ve been way worse… I could’ve sprained an ankle, got hit by a tram or worse. 

What happened, happened… I choose to believe in the kindness of people. Next time, I promise to surrender to the situation and you better believe, I’m going to slow the HELL down.

If this resonates with you and your ISH, remember you to have a choice. Stay calm, retrace your steps, write out your story… and keep your hope in the kindness of others.

You can do this, I believe in you.

It’s time to SIMPLIFY.

If this thought of the day inspired you…

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Thank you!

Show credits: Suzen Marie, our Podcast Editor. Jeffrey Lynn, our Video Editor. Lyden Yardley, our Show Notes Editor, Kristin Castillo, our resident Superhero, and Manminder Athwal, our Blogger. Aubri Nowowiejski, Chris Justice and George Mills, our advisory board. And I’m your host, Mary Baird-Wilcock. Thank you so much for joining us.

As always friends, keep things simple.

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