The other day, I was listening to my client 😉 talk about how exasperated they got when one of their post teenage children, still living at home, had abandoned a half eaten, congeiled pizza on top of the oven; and it was still languishing there three days later.  Only made worse by the ‘offender’, whilst sitting nearby, with phone and ears plugged in, denying that 3 days had elapsed and unwilling to rectify the situation!  My client wanted to rant and label said big child with all those words that were used on me back in the day!  The big, nasty one – lazy!!  They held off, and brought the topic into a coaching session.

Here’s the thing.  I bet all you readers can regale a similar experience – whether it be from teenagers, toddlers, partners, friends, flat mates – whoever you may share space with.  When, all of a sudden, you go from 0-60 in three seconds.  See red and react.  Of course, this wasn’t about me; but I certainly could relate.  And so, I could share a tool I use so often that my default is to spend much time there!  My death bed visit.

When things are at boiling point .. or hopefully before .. I take myself away (usually a dog walk) and imagine that right now, I have only 5 breaths left in my body before I die.  In the time that those 5 breaths elapse, what will I be feeling about the incident?  I usually get a pretty clear, immediate answer and know how to respond.

I offered this to my client and invited them, with this perspective to review their point of view.  Well …. now … the abandoned pizza story became a sweet anecdote of a life full of love, laughter and irony.  A hallmark of a beautifully imperfect family life.  Were it to be, that their child was not around any more, they would happily wade through thousands of pizza boxes strewn across the kitchen floor to spend time with them again.

So I offer this technique to you all as a ‘go to’ when the red mist descends.  Everything changes.  And for the better.

Can you relate?

This article was written by   Teresa  Klasener one of our partner coaches who helps clients who are feeling uncertain with their direction, to recalibrate and relaunch with vision, clarity and renewed peace of mind. You can get in touch via her profile page.