A new client (I’ll call her D) was describing some exciting business ideas that she was considering for her solo divorce law firm. Suddenly her tone changed and, sounding much older and more tired, she told me that she doesn’t think she should be doing this because she’s too sick too work. Or, maybe working is making her sick. She’s not sure.
D has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for 20 years — but over the past two years it had become much worse. She couldn’t walk without a cane or type on her computer. The pain medication makes her groggy. Although she’s convinced that this is hurting her credibility with clients and her ability to do her job well, she couldn’t point to anything specific. If anything, she was busier than ever.
Her internal debate was whether to take on a younger and healthier law partner, close the firm and take a job teaching at a community college or go on disability. She felt paralyzed by these thoughts and admitted all she wanted to do was sleep.
Although her her ideas about why she should stop working were very muddy, her options sounded crystal clear to me. But she wasn’t seeing this. She needed what I call a good spring cleaning. Shake out the dust and wash the windows – – and see what’s really there.
Fear gets pretty clogged up inside of us. Especially the fear of illness galloping out of control (which it basically is, isn’t it?). A technique I use for myself — and with clients — to open and expand is called Focusing . It’s a mind-body technique that allows you to “…experience the confidence and clarity of knowing what you really feel and want and live your life from that place” . I find that I become lighter and less frightened through this – and so have the people with whom I’ve worked.
The Four Questions from “The Work.”
- Is it true?
- Can you absolutely know that it is true?
- How do you react when you think that thought?
- Who would you be without that thought?and
Turn it around.
Rosalind aka cicoach.com The resource for professionals with chronic illness
PS – Here’s an idea for any of you with UC. Until March 14, you can enter your 200 word essay in the Celebrating UC Success Contest. Everyone who enters will be recognized with a prize, and grand prize winners will receive a two-day trip for two to the Foundation’s National Advocacy Conference, “IBD Day on the Hill,” in Washington, D.C.