This post is a personal one, but one that may resonate with you if you’ve ever received signals from your body that you’ve been on the wrong track in some way. My initiation into this world of body-talk started in earnest in 1992 when I first was hit with Crohn’s symptoms.
Today I only have a cold, but when I woke up I could feel/hear the primary message from my body; lie low, keep still, minimize interaction. This led me to thinking about sick days, body talk and time off in general.
In 1998 I was laid up and off my feet for a total of 14 weeks, 8 weeks in the summer months (I know!) and 6 weeks in November/December. I had developed a mysterious abscess in my right foot, not once but twice and in two different places. At that time I was the solo employee of a career search firm, making less money than I needed and doing work that was adjacent to the work I wanted to do, but not it at all. Plus, working with the owner was not always easy, as his was not an easy-going personality.
Recovering from a foot abscess was a lot easier than dealing with Crohn’s flare ups. Yes, it was inconvenient; I had to crawl up stairs to the doctor’s office, hobble around on crutches, and I could not drive myself anywhere. However, it was a finite situation: identify problem, take care of problem, heal.
During the first 8-week stint I read every single one of Faye Kellerman’s books written to-date. That part was a lot of fun. I don’t recall how I occupied myself the second time around but I know it took less time to heal because I knew the drill. Plus, after about 4 weeks I constructed a make-shift foot support out of a slipper with a hard, solid bottom so I could drive my car.
The question was, what didn’t I learn the first time around? If my body turns up the volume when my mind won’t listen, what did I miss? In one of those still and quiet moments, the answer came streaming through with the usual understated ease of most “divinely” delivered messages: “I don’t have a leg to stand on.”
Yep, it was time to get out of that job, make enough money to comfortably support myself and my son, and get started in earnest towards the career that had been calling to me for the previous 3 years, coaching. I gave notice, made an appointment to meet with someone at the local Kelly office and by the end of December had secured a temp-to-perm assignment with a local benefits broker company. The position was easy to manage: it paid me more than I had made in any previous job, was only 1.5 miles from home, and the hours were reliably excellent. I was able to leave the office at 5 pm most of days, a very good thing for a single mom of a 14 year-old.
After I got settled in (I did get hired on full time) I hired a coach to help me get moving on the launch of my coaching business. In mid-2000 I got remarried, moved to another county, secured a 6-month temporary assignment with a client of the benefits company, and launched my coaching business.
All of this from a foot abscess or two. How has your body-talk helped you make vital adjustments in your life?