A couple of weeks ago I had a serious bout of seasonal allergies. Living in beautifully blooming Portland, Oregon, I can just step out my front door and see the tender pinks of the wistful Cherry trees, the reds and purples of the sturdy rhododendron bushes, and the bright whites of the Dogwoods. While not being as visually dramatic about it, the Alder and Birch are sending out their gifts of pollen around my hood too.

As I sneezed my way to the office one morning, I wined to myself about how uncomfortable and inflamed I felt. It was hard to breathe or even think, much less be the centered, present person I chose to be with my life coaching clients. And then in my first session, something interesting happened. I heard my client reporting a very similar feeling but from her own personal growth process.

She said something like this: “I just feel so uncomfortable, like I can’t really stay present with what I am doing. I keep getting distracted by all the changes in my life and I am thinking about them all the time. I know it is good stuff, right? So why I am so fuzzy right now?”

Chelsea of the Cherry Trees

Photo by Katie Szczypinski, shared via flickr

My client was having a life transition allergy attack. Even though the new blooms in her life (a new dating relationship, a big career shift) were beautiful and positive, her system needed time to adjust. She was getting “stuffed up” with analyzing every detail of the way her life was changing and this was giving her fuzzy brain.

Just because something makes us uncomfortable or even scared does not mean it isn’t good. As a matter of fact, we usually have lots to learn from the ways we react to change and growth. And just like those glorious Cherry trees, often what’s sending out those painful pollen signals is a thing of beauty if we only look carefully.

The cure for my seasonal allergies was a cleaner diet, some antihistamines for a couple of days and regular local honey. I have completely recovered. The cure for my client’s life transition allergies?  A cleaner thought diet when it came to how she was ingesting her own worries. Otherwise, just acknowledging the discomfort and focusing on being more present is helping. She says she feels less fuzzy this week too :)