No Longer Needing to Bark

One of my clients had a terrible hacking cough. It sounded painful. After a while it sounded like anger and rage. Sometimes people aren't able to express certain things in words because it's too concentrated and intense, but you can hear or see it in other ways. It was clutter for her because it felt like a dam inside of her that kept her from flowing.

She was talking a lot about her work situation. There was a lot of infighting at her job. She talked about how it kept her from doing her job. She told me she tried using diplomacy, but it wasn't helping the situation. Yes, she was still invested in trying to fix the situation. When she spoke about it, her eyes looked away. Plus they were glazzy. This anger kept her from being present which meant it was interfering with her life.

I asked her to tell me what she felt she was good at. She began to tell me about work that she had done previously that involved protecting the environment. She wanted to go back to doing this kind of work. I noticed when she talked about this work that her cough stopped and her voice got stronger. Plus the light came back on in her eyes.

I said, "Did you notice that your cough is gone?"

She paused and thought about it. She said, "Yes, you're right. Wow, I actually feel better."

I said, "Sometimes something we are currently involved in, isn't working out. We try and do out best, but things don't improve and it causes us a lot of pain and frustration. Your current job diminishes you. You look smaller when you talk about it. It's like you are trying to talk to me from inside a trash compactor. You looked scrunched up. Your job makes you so angry and frustrated that your body has taken on a loud hacking cough that sounds like a bark. A bark is a sound to scare off enemies. You've been reduced to protecting yourself with a bark. But the bark is gone when you talk about work that you love."

She was quiet. Her defensiveness was gone. The clutter in her body had evaporated. Once a person sees that something is clutter, their attachment to it is broken. Since it was so clear to her, I figured she had a good chance to do something about it.