The message this week was unrelenting. Two clients had very difficult collaborative sessions that elicited raw emotion fueled by fear. They were both courageous and spent at the end of their sessions. I suggested to each that she do something that day for her, give a little self-care. Something  indulgent like a massage or a long visit with a friend or taking a cup of tea by the fire with a mindless magazine or even just a drive to our great icy Lake Michigan. “Take gentle care of you,” I said.

From each of these sessions I raced to my next appointment. My work is a privilege. And yet there can be a “second-hand stress” working with people you care about when they are in such pain. In the middle of preparing to move my St. Joseph office in the next week, I crammed this one full of appointments. I understood the feeling of being spent this week.

Friday I glanced at my page-a-day calendar which each day gives me a pithy nugget for contemplation:

                    Take care of your health as much as you take care of your business.

Well, I can’t very well believe in the importance of asking myself, “So what have you done for me lately?” when I allow the stress of my own transition to overwhelm me. So I sat down, picked up the phone and called two physician’s offices to schedule routine checkups which I have put off for months. And then I actually took a lunch break, sat down with my co-workers, Kathy and Meghan, and ate lunch with them. We talked and laughed and bemoaned the insanity of moving an office. It was good for my health!

Reading a magazine like the ones we subscribe to in the office–TIME, Real Simple, Psychology Today and O–is a luxury to me! Okay. Not a major indulgence but if feels like “gentle care” to me. I’d be interested to know: how do you answer the question, the one I hope you look in the mirror regularly to ask yourself, “What have you done for me lately?” Maybe someone else will be inspired by your choice!

Wishing you wisdom,



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Berecz and Associates PLC | Attorneys, Mediators, Collaborative Lawyers | Grand Rapids, MI | Saint Joseph, MI

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