Client Kicks Ass!

I had a client totally kick ass after just one session, and I’m really excited (I tend to get more excited than they do). What he did is pretty subtle, but it’s a big part of what my work with people is really all about. It’s simple stuff that most people don’t do. He did, and he had more peace. Go figure… So he came in once and then came in a couple weeks later to report on his experience. Here’s what happened. And it’s not glamorous at all, but it’s a radically different way of living when you really think about it, especially when you take it out into the future. That’s years of stress and anger and sadness that will flow through instead of building up. And that makes a big difference – it can even cause health problems down the line. I’ve seen lots of gastrointestinal problems related to stress, for instance. Is gastrointestinal really a word? It sounds good enough to me. Anyway, here we go…

The first thing he did occurred while he was at work. He was on a deadline, and something happened that was totally out of his control that slowed things down. Basically, he needed something from somebody in order to meet this deadline. On the day he was to receive what he needed, he learned that that person needed emergency surgery. Can’t do anything about that! He said that in the past, he would’ve spent some time and energy being angry about what had happened and maybe even wasting time complaining to his supervisor, who might complain right along with him about how this sucks. After that, of course, he would’ve handled the situation. What needs to be done now? What are my options? Order what he needed from someone else who does the same service.

So what did he do this time that was so amazing, in my professional opinion? He skipped the part about bitching and moaning and just… ordered what he needed from someone else who does the same service. Thank you! This was a simple choice that he made where there was no choice before, and he ended up not losing his peace. He came in, learned some simple things, and then applied them in his life when a situation arose. It’s so simple, but nobody can do it for you but you. And this is more about not-doing than doing. He didn’t really do anything at all. Rather, he did not do the freak out. And he was at peace. Amazing. This is small, but this is what the path to inner peace looks like. No joke. Things get magnified, but the same rules apply.

The other thing he did that I was very impressed with was to ask for a five-minute break during an argument with his wife. She wasn’t necessarily happy that he was doing this before the issue was resolved, but she must be happy with the results. He cooled off, letting the rising anger in his body flow through without getting stuck, and then he returned to deal with the situation. The version of him that left was angry, and the version that returned was much different. Which version would you want to negotiate with? He was calmer and clearer, and guess what happened? They resolved the situation. Yes! This guy probably thinks I’m crazy because I was so excited about hearing this. I was excited because he did something so simple, and it worked! Most people don’t do this. I guess they like to argue or just don’t know another way. Well, there’s definitely another way. Arguing is just another way of expressing anger – that’s all. It’s not rocket science. What do you call it when you remove the expressing of anger from an argument? Talking. I much prefer talking, myself…

I suggested that he might explain to his wife exactly why he took that short break. This way, she’ll support it in the future. Sometimes when my clients take this mid-argument timeout for the first time, their partner starts yelling at them about running away and not resolving things. This makes them even more angry, which makes the chances of resolving the problem go down even more. It’s nice to be on the same page so that the partner knows that anger has built up to the point that the person is expressing and is not  exactly in good shape to be communicating and fixing things. Let the anger pass and then it’s a much better time to communicate and fix things.

Well, that’s my story for today, folks. It’s so simple and yet so powerful. And it just takes practice. I love my job! Sometimes we have to be sick enough of our old ways that we’ll try something different. If that’s the case, argue away! But there’s another way to live whenever you’re ready. And I know that many of you are ready now and are doing great. Know that I applaud you. At some point I’ll probably write about why we might be addicted to our various flavors of dysfunction. Just bust yourself in the moment and let it go. Anyway, keep up the good work and of course let me know if I can help!