I was planning to go to Copenhagen for a client meeting that held the possibility of a lot of international business for me. A week before I was scheduled to leave, British Airlines, the airline I booked with, went on strike. They wouldn’t rebook me on another airline; they said they could credit my flight for a future trip.
I might not need a future trip if I didn’t make the business meeting. My client would only pay for one ticket. I would have to pay thousands of dollars that would not be reimbursed if I chose to play it safe.
I kept asking my colleague in Denmark what I should do. I kept checking the news. Hourly, I checked air prices to see if any deal popped up. I worried. I complained.
Finally, my colleague said, “What would you do differently if you knew the solution would appear with ease and grace?”
Ease and grace? At first, I blew him off. How could I find a solution by sitting back and letting things happen? That felt like giving up.
I tried it anyway, breathing and clearing my mind as I allowed myself to feel “ease and grace.” It wasn’t about giving up. I gave into the feeling of peace that comes with acceptance. I quit struggling to control a situation that was out of my grasp.
In the moment of release, a new solution appeared.
I called one of the airlines that had a flight that wasn’t ideal, but would allow me to get off the plane and arrive in the room with about twenty minutes of breathing time before I met the client. I didn’t buy the flight. I asked how long they could hold it. They said they would hold the reservation for three days.
After three days, British Air was still on strike. I let the reservation lapse with ease and grace and booked it again a few minutes later. This would take me up to the morning I was going to leave.
When I woke the morning that I had to make a decision, I checked the Internet and found the strike had ended. I let the other ticket lapse.
When I boarded the plane that evening, the plane was near empty because so many people had booked other flights. I landed in London to change planes. Heathrow airport was a like ghost town with no waiting lines. Ease and grace.
I arrived well rested the night before the meeting. The next day, we earned the business.
Those of us that love to control situations knowing we can find the right solution if we work hard enough sometimes miss the solution that is out there waiting for us in the bigger picture. We can’t see those options when we are obsessing about finding solutions. We will only see what is bigger, and wiser, than our crazy, busy selves when we relax into this space of possibility with ease and grace.
Try it—the next time you are beating your head against the wall to find an answer, sit back and ask, “What would I do differently if I knew the solution would appear with ease and grace?”
You can’t do ease. You can’t do grace. You have to feel it. When you do, you might be amazed at what shows up for you to do differently to solve your dilemma.
Or maybe it just won’t matter anymore.