Step to the Side

So many of my clients are facing really big challenges. Physical challenges, relationship challenges, emotional challenges, challenges of anxiety and more. And it’s not unusual for me to hear them talk about about feeling overwhelmed. Trying to manage their challenges has got them worn out. They have more going on than they can juggle and they are not sure what to do next. And because their difficulties aren’t taking a break, they don’t feel as though they ever get a break. Even when there isn’t a current crisis, it feels like one is lurking just around they corner, and they feel like they need to remain constantly on guard.

Does that sound familiar?

If it does, maybe this tool will help you too.

When I am sitting with a client who is feeling completely bombarded by difficult situations, anxious thoughts, etc., I invite them to take a few moments to practice this visualization with me. So I’ll invite you to do the same thing.

    Step To The Side:

First, take a few moments to sit as comfortably as you can. Try to be sure that your body is well supported by the chair or sofa you are on. Then, allow your breathing to become even and steady, bringing a consistent flow of oxygen into your body and brain.

When you are feeling comfortable and supported, when your breathing is calm and even, imagine a river.  This is a pretty large river, large enough to gain some speed as it moves along.  Now, imagine that, as you round a curve in the river you see a waterfall.  The waterfall isn’t enormous, but it is large enough for a grown person to stand underneath it.

Now imagine that you are standing in the center of the waterfall.  The full force of the river is crashing down on and around you.  It is loud, and overwhelming.  In fact, it feels as though it could knock you over and sweep you downstream.  The middle of the waterfall represents today in your life.  Staying there can be scary.

You can’t stop the river from flowing.

You can’t stop the water from crashing over the falls.

But you can step to the side of the river.

You can observe the falls without being in the center, at least right now.  You can know that the difficulty you face is real, without sitting in the middle of it.  You can step to the side and enjoy some room to breathe, to feel supported, to take a break.

This isn’t about denying the difficulties you face.  Instead, stepping to the side allows you to gather your strength for re-entering whatever challenge your river of life brings you.

    Try It On:

I would guess that you, like my clients, have had moments where the realities of your life feel like that river trying to sweep you away.  So, I’m inviting you to step to the side today.  Have you had a moment when you were able to step to the side?  Please feel free to share in the comments.  Need some help getting there? Just click that button on the right hand side.

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