hands-fullTheir arms were full, and it was obvious that they couldn’t hold on to any more.  They were carrying so many blocks.  The load was getting heavy.  It was weighing them down.  Yet, they were determined to not let any of it drop.

I see this situation every time I do the In a Family’s Shoes workshop.  Whether it be financial worry, relationship tension, an unsuccessful job search, serious illness, a child diagnosed with a disability, or loss of a loved one, there are many things in life that can weigh us down.

In the role play, the stress, or blocks, builds up and we see the effect.  They become disconnected with their friends and family because they as they try to balance the load, the link to others is broken.  The physical impact is recognizable, and the question is, “how much longer can this go on?”  Nevertheless, the person continues to let things pile up.

Life has a way of getting beyond our grasp of control.  Our nature is to try to keep control of everything happening around us, but it’s an effort that can lead us to the emotional ghetto, that feeling of being trapped and not seeing a way out.  If we try to continue without relief, eventually we become tired and overwhelmed, at risk of breaking down and as a result, all of the blocks will fall.

Quite often, we don’t realize the load we carry.  We just keep going.  Therefore, a key element is to recognize what is happening before we become overloaded.  Even if we experience symptoms of stress such as pain of any kind, sleep disturbance, inability to concentrate, digestive issues, feelings of resentment and anger, depression and anxiety, we still may not understand the burden we sustain.

The good news is that we are resilient.  The turning point comes with recognizing the load we carry.  The challenge is getting to there.  To take an objective view of oneself is a really difficult task and often requires a person to take a step back and try to look at their life from the outside.  Not easy to do when you are absorbed by circumstances that keep you really attached to the strain and stress of it all.  How do you possible detach and take a look at what is going on?

There are strategies like mindfulness meditation, journaling, and asking others for their feedback.

I personally like to begin with In a Family’s Shoes.  While it can be an emotionally painful to experience, it is a powerful first step to understanding your situation and discovering how to move forward and leave the emotional ghetto.

In a Family’s Shoes is one of my favourite workshops.  It is a compelling way to increase empathy and to help people realize the load they carry and uncover the possibilities of renewal and revitalization.

Please contact me to schedule a workshop for your staff or for the people you support.

It would be my pleasure to work with you!

~ Lisa