"My 14 year old made me so mad. I told him once to stop shaving his underarms and he's done it again. And that's not all that pissed me off...." He wanted to know what could get through to his son.
You get the picture - this guy is anxious and irritable a lot. But he's worked hard to harness these traits in order to be a better father and husband.
Yet he hadn't gotten the word about surefire losing strategies, EQ, and going down into the boiler room to notice what's happening inside when triggered.
Gently, I interrupted his rant and invited him to do an experiment which required that- for the moment- he put aside his need for guidance. He agreed.
For once he was willing to do a combination of tracking (to be explained in future blogs) and meditation in order to quiet down enough to tune in to just how stressed he was and do something about it before considering his concern.
Ten minutes later, he was ready to resume our work. Now his face appeared softened; he had relaxed into the sofa.
In this critical moment I invited him to return to the subject of his son's behavior and asked, "How are you experiencing that concern now?"
Quietly, and in amazement at his transformation, he said, "It doesn't seem so important anymore."
Nothing more had to be said.