How many of you are grappling with a problem of some sort? Everyone I expect. Whether it is deciding whether to move house or change job or the smaller daily decisions what to have for dinner?
How do you go about this?
Obviously thinking about it a lot, probably talking about it to friends and family (especially the bigger decisions). Maybe writing things down, mind maps, lots of lovely colours this can be a great way to clarify our thoughts.
How do you weigh up the pro’s and cons?
It can be really difficult especially with the life changing issues; we have all done it and it can feel like jumping off a cliff, burning your bridges. When you look back you can see that you have survived other big shifts and this can help with future decision making. But in the moment you can really get brain freeze, so many options, opinions. Sometimes it is easier to drop the whole idea and go and lie down in a darkened room.
Supposing there is an easier way?
The following all comes from the work of a marvellous women called Martha Beck (life coach and sociologist).
When you have thought and talked and thought and talked and reached brain freeze go and make something…..? Anything, a cake, write a poem, paint a picture, create a company. As long as it is tangible and can be shared with others in some way.
As you know we have our left and right brain, the left brain is logical and rational and figures things out in a linear step by step way. The right brain is more creative, random, makes connections in different ways. When we engage in making something we engage the right brain. If you were cooking a meal you may think about what you want and then decide what would make it taste and look better. You may even find your mouth filling with saliva at the thought of how delicious it will be. Or feel that heart lift when you draw something and it’s beautiful. While you are doing this your right brain will still be working on the other issue; you may suddenly get a solution or a different perspective.
What else happens?
I find I often feel a physical lift or lightening as if a weight has shifted or the sun has come out. The brain freeze has melted; the whole problem may not be solved but you have made a shift or had a new insight.
This is also part 2 of the solution; when you are trying to solve an issue notice how you feel. When you think about the issue (even what to cook for dinner) notice what is happening with your body. Do you feel open, excited and expanded or tight and contracted. Don’t judge just notice; play around with the issue, how do I feel if I contemplate something different? Play being the operative word, toy (!) with the idea, consider mad ideas. Notice how you feel, don’t be too logical and grown up.
You can take this bodily noticing into daily life what bits of work light me up, which don’t. Is there anything I can do about this? (in terms of changing how I work, not denying the feeling).
A study was done where groups of people had to make a tower out of uncooked spaghetti and marshmallows; the brief was to build the tallest tower possible. The group that did the best were the five year olds! Because they worked co-operatively, didn’t worry if plan A didn’t work and no-one was vying to be leader. Being children they played the problem, weren’t too attached to the outcomes and probably had a great time.
As adults we have been taught to sit and think, listen to the teacher or boss. We are taught that someone else has the knowledge, solutions and we must pay attention; yes to a degree but it’s not a very creative way.
So get out of the class room and get into the sandpit, have fun, see what brilliant solutions come to you.
You will feel a lot better.