About 10 years ago I was sitting in the Newark airport with a Senior Leader in my company named Kate, on our way to a conference when I realized I made the biggest mistake of my career.
Kate and I were sitting at one of the little cafes near the gate and she must have seen my face when I pulled out my blackberry to check emails.
“Is everything okay?”
“Oh, yeah, totally fine… I just need to make a quick call…”
Everything was certainly not okay. I couldn’t believe I made this mistake. I didn’t make mistakes like this. I was the quintessential over-achiever and was really good at my job. Heart racing. Lump in my throat. I could feel the dread literally wash over my whole body from the top of my head down to my toes, all at once.
I was a junior event planner in financial services, and just found out I had booked a venue for an event I was managing the next week for THE WRONG DAY. I had speakers and attendees flying in. There was TONS of money AND attendee experience (not to mention my reputation) on the line. I had completely messed up.
My frantic phone call with the Ritz-Carlton Chicago didn’t help… there was another event already booked in my space for the day my event was supposed to be.
I had no idea what to do.
Holding back tears I tore open the Hemisphere Magazine tucked into the seat in front of me to distract myself. And that’s when I saw it: The double page spread on meditation that went on to change my life completely.
I meditated for the first time on that plane ride.
It wasn’t perfect, but it was enough to calm me down.
I hopped off the plane, eager to find solutions instead of going down a swirl of blame, shame, depression and fear.
The Ritz pulled through for me (another lesson on their gold standard of service for another day), and we swapped meeting rooms without anyone ever knowing the difference.
I had saved face that day, thank goodness. But this lowest low gave me the best gift and sent me down a different spiral on soaking up as much as I could about mindfulness and meditation and wellness.
11 years later, and after much personal exploration and studying directly with some of the most world renowned teachers in the industry, I’m can’t wait to teach more people actionable ways mindfulness can literally change your body and mind.