Tales for Our Times-What the Cyclone of Desperation Taught Caroline
Inner Wisdom expresses itself most eloquently through images. Through the process of Interactive Imagery you dialog with your Inner Wisdom and discover whatever it is that you need to know.
I am in awe of this process and of the beauty and power of the messages my clients receive. They often feel to me like modern mythology.
In Tales for Our Times I offer these narratives to you. May you find the wisdom in these Tales both inspiring and beneficial.
What the Cyclone of Desperation Taught Caroline about
Caroline came to coaching overwhelmed with too many things to do, and not enough time to do them. An oncologist, Caroline was writing a book to help people make better choices for their cancer care. She wrote a regular blog on the topic, in addition to actively participating on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. All of this on top of her regular work with patients and her research and professional writing. Though finding time for self-care figured importantly in her message, she could rarely find time to take care of herself.
Worst of all was the overwhelming feeling of desperation that came on when Caroline had to choose among too many things to do. She became paralyzed, not knowing where to turn first and felt totally inadequate to ever accomplish all she had to do.
We turned to Caroline’s Inner Wisdom for help. In order to understand that desperate feeling better, we invited it to be present in the form of an image. What appeared was a whirlwind. Caroline could see that sometimes the whirlwind was as small as a dust devil and other times it swelled to the size of a cyclone. Always, though, it spun around and around, completely out of control.
We greeted this whirlwind and asked it what it wanted Caroline to know about it. The whirlwind immediately identified itself as the Cyclone of Desperation.
The Cyclone of Desperation told Caroline that its size depended on how much energy she put into it. The more overwhelmed she felt, the more of her power became sucked into the whirlwind, causing it to accelerate and grow. Once Caroline became caught up in the Cyclone, she spun round and round, faster and faster. When she was spinning like this she might see one task four times in a minute and think there were four tasks.
Caroline saw that when she focused on one single thing she needed to do, the Cyclone slowed to a stop and disappeared. She recognized that she could become effective by addressing one thing at a time. She saw that giving a single task her whole attention empowered her to complete that task. She was then free to go on to the next task and the next, systematically working her way through.
Caroline learned that she could use the very feeling of desperation as a signal. The moment this feeling arose, she simply needed to choose one task to focus on, and make this her highest priority for the moment. It didn’t matter at all which task she chose. Saying ‘yes’ to this one item meant she was saying ‘no’ to all of the others. With the focus this created, she could accomplish this one thing. Then, done with that task, she could go on to other things she needed to do.
Once Caroline learned to use her anxiety as a sign that it was time to focus, she became much more efficient. She enjoyed freedom from overwhelm, as well as the satisfaction of accomplishing more, more effectively.
Caroline came to feel affectionate toward her whirlwind, for the great job it did in reminding her to focus. She never again gave it the opportunity to grow into a mighty cyclone.