Friday, 19 October 2012

Health - Trust your Gut Reaction

Life Auditing is all about listening to the inner 'you' and learning how not to ignore suppressed feelings and thoughts because they are too difficult, uncomfortable, time-consuming or plain boring to acknowledge and address. 
But one of the simplest things we can do to stress-test our emotional well-being is to learn how to better hear and trust the messages our body sends with its physical reaction to external experiences and encounters.  
I heard a story this week which really illustrated this from a dynamic, focussed and (until I heard his tale) seemingly very strong businessman.  Simon's business was struggling and he was battling to keep it going and his 25 staff employed.  He thought he was coping very well and certainly neither his family or friends were aware that he wasn't.  In truth, neither was he until his body told him otherwise. 
The only thing that made him question the effort and time he was putting into his business was that fact that it stopped him being able to spend as much time as he'd like on duties associated with being a County Councillor, something he really enjoyed.
Matters came to a head after a meeting when it became clear he would have to choose between the two - business or politics.  Displaying all the symptoms of a heart attack, Simon was rushed to hospital.  Dozens of tests revealed nothing wrong so he was sent home after an overnight stay.  
Feeling OK, he decided to take his dog for a walk, during which to his shock he found himself suddenly crying and couldn't stop.  He rang his wife sobbing who came and fetched him.   
"My body just said 'enough'," Simon told me.   "There was nothing I could do about it.  My body literally forced me to a grinding halt."   
As he spent a very quiet four months recovering (walking the dog, sleeping and taking each day at a time - no medication!) other people in the business took up the reins and got on with a corporate re-structure.  Now Simon has a small consultancy role with them and spends much more time with his first love - politics.  
"I am now really aware of any physical 'gut' reaction I have to situations and encounters.  I listen to what my body is telling me.  It seems to know best!" 

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