The practice this week is for bringing into play when you or a loved one receives some bad health news. It can also be useful for when you are feeling overwhelmed and unable to cope.
This is the practice I am relying on this week, and this month, for maintaining my equilibrium and keeping focused on what’s important.
Last Friday I received a conclusive diagnosis of Crohn’s disease. This news sent me into a real spin with my thoughts flying in all directions.
What does this mean for the future?
How did this happen?
What do I need to do?
Starting the research process into the disease brought up some alarming facts about the kind of pain and suffering many people with Crohn’s experience.
Is this what’s in store for me?
What if… What if… What if?!
I observed my thinking begin to fixate on the disease. I watched my flight and fight instincts propelling me into action with the thought – I have to do everything I can to stay healthy.
Thankfully, in my dreams last night I coached myself and awoke with this slow and steady practice:
- First, it is ok, to not do everything all at once.
- Start with what you know.
- Focus on what you can do today.
- Build the team. Find the people who can help by way of information, mentorship, and support, and connect with them.
- Limit the time spent focused on the disease. There are other important priorities to focus on.
I will take time in the evenings to research and learn, and will take some time during the day to connect with team members but otherwise when I find my thoughts circling back to the illness I will redirect them to other priorities including simply being present in what ever activity I am engaged in at the moment.
Slowly and steadily I will build up my knowledge base. Slowly and steadily I will add to my list of beneficial actions. Slowly and steadily I will move forward.
To apply this to whatever has your head spinning remember these key steps:
- Notice, it is ok to not do everything all at once. In fact it is best NOT to do everything at once.
- Take action on what you can today.
- Build a team to provide support, and use the team.
- Focus on what is presently in front of you and schedule time for ruminating, and worrying at the end of the day. But not right before bedtime!
When the going gets tough use slow and steady to make your way through.