“If you work on your mind with your mind, how can you avoid an immense confusion?” Seng-ts’an
We often get caught in our own minds trying to find a way out of a problem. Like an animal caught in a maze, or perhaps a gerbil going round and round in its little wheel, we circle through our repetitive thoughts trying to find a solution to what’s in front of us.
It isn’t possible to find a solution to a stumbling block that’s in our mind with our mind, because our mind can’t see through to an answer. It is, in fact, part of the problem, and we therefore get stuck. The best way out is to reach for an answer in some other way – from our heart, gut, intuition, soul, spirit…anything other than our head.
I’ve watched clients go in circles with a problem, intensely trying to figure out the best thing to do. I encourage them to close their eyes, silence their thoughts, and listen for what simply feels or resonates best. Or to imagine themselves on the outside of their problem watching someone else work their way through it – what do they see that person doing and what is right about that choice? I suggest they flip a coin – knowing full well that when the coin is up in the air they’ll most likely be much clearer as to which way they hope the coin lands. Anything to get out of their heads and open themselves up to other options and choices.
Where are you stuck in your own mind? What problem are you trying to solve, only to find yourself going around in circles? Where else can you turn for possible solutions? Next time you find yourself stuck and confused, stop. Look inside your heart and gut for an answer. Look outside to the things that move you and inspire you. Allow yourself to find an answer that you don’t “work out” in your head.