Leaving work at work

What do you do when it's a struggle to simply leave your work at work?

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This challenges lots of healing arts professionals.

I know this might sound antithetical to what we normally hear about this issue — but if you find yourself mulling over some thorny issue a client is facing, so what?

I mean, what if in that mulling over your intuition kicks in and you catch a glimpse of what your client needs and how to support them in fulfilling that need? I think there can be value in this mulling over — especially if it’s easy to turn off. That’s the trick, leaving work at work AT WILL.

When we KNOW that our clients are more than the sum of their stories, we can lean into a kind of courageous faith in them. This frees us to be a more compassionate witness to their suffering WITHOUT the compulsion to fix whatever feels broken. As a brilliant soul reminded me recently, not everything is a hammer and nail.

Sometimes we need to mull things over to find our way again, sometimes this happens “off hours.” What if you could trust that these times are kindling your intuition and intellectual curiosity, clearing the path?

However, if not being able to leave work at work is fraught with anxiety and worry, something’s a little off kilter. It happens to all of us. If this is the case, first make sure you have done what you need to do to address any suicidal ideation, if that is relevant for your client. You might also benefit from a consult with a colleague or supervisor. Don’t delay if that impulse arises.

If you find yourself fretting about multiple people or you just can’t turn it off, you might want to try a little ritual I used years ago for YEARS. I found it really helpful.

My mother-in-law had this way of being able to fall asleep at will. I asked her what her secret was and she said that she routinely told God, “Ok, I’ve done my best, it’s all yours now. I’ll pick it back up tomorrow.”

This translated to my lighting and blowing out a candle at the end of each day, folding my palms together and reminding myself that it was out of my hands.

What do you do to leave it all alone? How do you know when to let your intuitive curiosity roam?

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