Klaus and His Cough
Klaus was the company director of an important European company in Latin America and he had lived in Costa Rica where he also got married.
He came to one of my courses. He was accompanying his wife, who is a great believer in Adventure of the Soul, and he had come with great resistance. At the break he came to me and said, «no offence intended, but», ‘what you are doing here is just entertainment and that these are idiotic ideas that only attract the gullible,’ and that he didn’t believe anything I was saying.’ So I decided to thank him for his comments, especially the one about not offending me, and I wished him the best for the rest of the course.
The way I see it, is if someone ends up coming to the course, whichever way it happened, there is a gift there for that person to collect. Although with Klaus I had my doubts as I was not convinced that he would be able to allow himself to recognize anything.
Picking up where we left off after the break, I could see that Klaus was listening to more of my nonsense, as I could hear his exasperated reactions to some of my comments and explanations. I mentioned to Alberto, the organizer, that I did not think Klaus would be there for the afternoon session.
Contrary to my prediction, he showed up after lunch with the same attitude. He was slouched in his chair with his legs and his arms crossed and adding large yawns to his repertoire of reactions to my presentation. I later found out that his wife had made him promise he would stay for the whole course.
We were in a section of the course where we go into the four questions for identifying a message, and we were working with a couple of participants. We achieved some surprising and interesting results, so much so that even Klaus was paying attention and he piped up with a challenging tone, «I have a cough that happens every morning after I get up. So what do you think is happening there?»
Because we had been through the questions with a few people already, I asked him if he would be comfortable if we worked his case as a group. He responded in his usual tone and said that he did not have a problem with that.
We started to ask the questions as a group. The first one is if the cough happens every day including holidays and during vacations. He says yes and proceeds to explain that it starts before breakfast and that he sometimes has to stop eating his breakfast in order to cough some more and that it all clears up once he is on his way to the office. He also mentions that he has gone to see two specialists who did not find anything. They did recently put him on some kind of medication, but without any effect on his cough.
We ask him about his environment and any other details. He explains that it happens shortly after he gets up, right around breakfast and points out that it is the second time that we ask him the same thing. In reality the group was asking something different about the details surrounding his morning activities around breakfast time, but he does not offer any more detail.
Someone in the group says that the message could be that something needs to come out or needs to be expressed. He says he does not have a problem with that and that he always speaks his mind whether people like it or not; that is just his way. The group has no problem believing that.
When he is asked when it started or when was the very first time it showed up, he responds that it has been more or less two years now.
Then someone from the group asks him what was happening in his life more or less two years ago.
He responds, «Nothing»
I repeat the question to see if anything shows up in his memory and he insists there is nothing that he can think of.
At that moment his wife raises her hand and asks him if she can say something and he nods.
«Klaus, it was two years ago that your mother passed away…»
He sits up straight in his chair with eyes wide open without saying anything. It turns out that when his mother died, in a different city from where they live, he received a phone call informing him of the fact at seven o’clock in the morning, just before having breakfast!
After receiving the phone call, he went and sat down like any other morning to have breakfast and did not make any particular comments. His wife could not believe that he was acting as if nothing had happened and that is the way it went day after day. He carried on with no reaction to a major event in his life.
On the Sunday morning, which is the second day of our weekend workshop, he asked for permission to say something. He said that he had not coughed that morning. It was the first morning in two years that he had not coughed. He thanked the group and gave special thanks to Alberto who had accompanied him after the questions on the previous day. His wife came to me at one point and just quickly mentioned that it had been an emotional night. So, even Klaus found a gift.