If there were to be a lesson in my recent trip to Italy it would be that life is nothing more than a moment-to-moment experience. I know that sounds very Buddhist, Elkhart Tolle, etc.
and I know this intellectually.
But traveling in a foreign country where I did not speak the language elevated the moment-to-moment experience to a new level.
I’ve been following the Positive Intelligence Mental Fitness program for 2 years now – I’ve been consistent with my exercises and could feel the difference in my capacity to handle stress. (For more information about Positive Intelligence please click here www.mollymccormick.org)
I was curious how my mental fitness would hold up during the 7 weeks I was traveling. It was not a typical tourist trip. I was traveling with my wife who is fluent in Italian and had bought an apartment in the small town where her parents were originally from. There was NO English to be found. NONE. And what little Italian I knew quickly diminished with the rapidity of their conversations.
Even though I had Google Translate to fall back on, I felt isolated without the ease of a back-and-forth conversation. I was also vulnerable to not understanding what foods I was buying, the right trains to take, or simple navigation around towns that we visited.
It is much easier to be in a pleasant moment-to-moment experience when everything is new, different, stimulating, and challenging. That is the best part of traveling – to be able to get out of the routines, the familiarity, and sometimes boredom of daily life.
There was no boredom or monotony during my trip to Italy! My mental fitness was challenged as soon as I landed in Italy because I dropped my wallet at the airport in Rome’s Baggage Claim This I believe would have sent me over the edge if I didn’t have some mental fitness. The panic was fierce and immediate BUT it didn’t rise to a pitch where I couldn’t think clearly. Instead, my brain stayed calm enough to run back to the area, while refusing to fall into the “worse case scenario” mode. The customer service window was there and they directed me to the Lost and Found area. I quickly ran over there and a woman in the line, yelled out to me, “Hey! I have your wallet! I recognize your face from your license!” Oh My God! I feeling of relief poured through me. How fortunate was I that the woman took the time to stand in the lost and found line to return my wallet!! I don’t know what or how I would have reacted if my wallet hadn’t been found – it would have made for a very different beginning of a long trip! But I don’t have to go there, because that did not happen.
Staying in the moment and doing the next right thing at that moment led me to clarity and a more subdued panic reaction than I would have before this mental fitness work.
I’m not suggesting people have a crisis to test their mental fitness BUT if you feel like you aren’t handling things the way you would like to and it is creating more drama than you need, check out the Positive Intelligence Boot Camp. I can guarantee that you will feel a substantial shift in your ability to handle life, work, and yourself.