First, Be. Then do.
So often we try and ‘think’ our way out of problems, don’t we? We go over and over the same old thought tapes in an effort to find answers but in the process, we get sucked deeper into the rabbit hole; more stuck, more hopeless. Because in our desperate attempt to find an answer, we tend to focus instead on the problem. And whatever we focus on expands, so this problem or challenge we’re facing starts to feel bigger and heavier and becomes all we can think about. There ain’t no answers coming to that state of mind!
If there’s something that you have been going over on loop in your head for weeks or months – or maybe years – put it down. Let it go. Even if just for a while.
Because whatever answer you’re looking for won’t, can’t, come to you in that space of rumination and overthinking. That’s a tight, constricted space that allows in no light or creativity. It’s not where solutions come from, it’s where anxiety and hopelessness come from.
It feels contradictory, but when we put down our worries and instead come to a place of being, the solutions often show up out of nowhere. Ever had something dawn on you while you’re having a shower or washing dishes or maybe even asleep? When we release and soften, we arrive back at that place of light and inspiration that is deep within us, however buried it can sometimes be.
Years ago when I was doing my surf lifesaving training, we had to simulate drownings and learn to navigate all the eventualities that we might face. One of those was how to kick/hit/manoeuvre a victim off us in the water.
Seriously?! Why would we have to do that?!
Because a drowning person is so desperate to stay alive, they can clamber and climb on you with such panic that they unintentionally push you under in the process. Their desperation for life can cause death.
And I think we do this in life, in our every day world, where it can sometimes feel like the pressures and challenges and problems of life are drowning us, and in our desperate need to cling to safety we inadvertently cause much more suffering.
So what can we do?
Make space. First be, then do. Quiet the mind enough so that the whispers of inspiration deep within us can be heard. Meditate. Write. Paint. Play music. Read. Walk in nature. Notice and pay attention to the breath like it was the most awe inspiring and magical thing we’d ever encountered.
Be, just be.
And when we catch the mind returning to doing mode – caught in rumination and overthinking, redirect it. Ten, twenty, a hundred times, it doesn’t matter how often we have return our focus home, as long as we do.
Einstin, a guy who knew a thing or two about a thing or two wrote that “No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” And that’s it in a nutshell. We’ve got to alter our consciousness in order to access the wisdom, and the easiest way to alter our consciousness is to create space. To return to being.
First, Be. Then do.