We’ve all got circumstances.
Wednesday, September 25, 2019
When I was training to be a health and wellness coach a number of years ago, a faculty member told a story about a woman I will never forget. Her client had a 22-year-old son with a debilitating disease that had him in and out of the hospital frequently. Her son was in the prime of his life, but instead of setting off into the world to make his mark, he lived at home with his mother and managed his disease. That anything would change in his life was not promising.
I wondered what on earth my teacher would do with this situation. I couldn't imagine what you could possibly say to help, but coaching is fundamentally about asking the right questions that enable a person to see what they need to do to help them themselves. The question the faculty member had asked her client was very simple: Given circumstances being what they are, what would help?
The phrasing of the question caused her client to pause and really give this some thought. What the woman finally came to was this: she said if she could just get herself to take a 30-minute walk every day, she would feel so much better. She would be better able to manage being her son's caregiver and coping with her sadness and his.
The humbleness of this thing the woman had identified that would help her manage the enormousness of her grief and burden staggered me. A walk, a humble walk, was what would make a difference in this tragedy?
Since hearing that story I have never again discounted the power of simple things to help and heal. How a clean desk can ease a frenzied mind and get a stalled project going. How a shower can restore faith in humanity. How five minutes of rest can give you enough energy to get back up again. How telling someone your trouble can lighten your heart.
It's a question worth asking every time we find ourselves in circumstances that are taking it out of us -- and asking someone else when we see they are struggling. It's actually a question worth asking even on a typical plain old hectic day! The shocking thing? Even if we had a million dollars, these are the things that will still fundamentally be what help. Sure, we might take our walk on the beaches of Cayman Islands instead of our same old neighborhood, but it's still the walk that gets it done.
So, this Wellness Wednesday, whether you are carrying a great burden or simply trying to keep all the balls in the air, the question for you is:
Given the circumstances of the day being whatever they are for you, what would help?