The Morro Bay Winter Bird Festival happened this past weekend. Once a year people from all over the country come to see the amazing variety of birds in the area.
I’m the Hospitality Chairperson for the Festival and my job is to feed the attendees. We host an opening reception with food and wine on opening night. We provide fruit and breakfast snacks as well as coffee throughout the 4-day festival in the Hospitality Room. I also invite the local restaurants and hotels to offer specials for our attendees.
The day before the Festival, Marlys, the Board Chairperson and I picked up all of the food at Costco, then stopped at the local supermarket to pick up the produce they were donating.
In my conversation with the manager, I had explained that we have about 500 people over the 4 days and that we provide bananas and apples for the early-birders. She said she’d take care of it and have something ready for us to pick up.
Marlys and I were standing in the produce section, waiting for the manager to bring out the fruit. “I have no idea what we’re getting,” I said. “But I’m sure it will be fine.” Marlys was folding the corner of the shopping list back and forth, her eyes fixed on the swinging doors at the back of the produce section. She looked at me. “Have you always been this calm?”
“Not at all.”
I invited her to take a deep breath with me. She inhaled with her shoulders and her whole body lifted, as if she hadn’t taken a breath in hours.
“Breathing is the number one thing to do to calm down,” I said, slowly breathing again, “all the way into your belly.”
She took another breath and smiled.
“Whatever he brings out will be great,” I said. “And we can always buy more.”
“You’re right,” she said.
So often we fret about a situation before it has even happened. We get caught in a spiral of what if it doesn’t, what if I can’t, what if……
Instead of staying stuck in that anxious, worry zone, can you explore the actual questions you are asking?
What IF there aren’t enough apples?
Maybe you’ll hear those familiar voices in your head saying: “we won’t have enough, people will get mad, I will have failed….”
But what if you put those thoughts aside and came up with some Action Steps to answer the question:
If there aren’t enough apples we could:
Serve them sliced
Buy more apples
Make do with what we have
The key is, once you have a back up plan, LET GO OF THE WORRY. It serves no purpose except to drain you, stress you and keep you from feeling calm.
The manager returned with a bushel box of Washington apples and another box overflowing with bananas, more than enough to feed our birders. In fact, we had almost a dozen apples leftover at the end of the event.
So the next time you find yourself in a moment of worry, breathe, consider your options and let go. And trust that everything will work out.