The Mind

In the course of a day, we are perpetually deciding what to do – to eat, to wear, to say, to think. Most of these choices fall towards the easy end of the spectrum – but what happens when we come up against the hard ones? When the available options we see are so unappealing it feels that we have no real choice? When you’re stuck and there seems to be no solution whatsoever?

Some situations you simply cannot think your way out of, you must feel your way through. These are tremendously challenging - and equally rewarding - opportunities.

Our minds, with their problem-solving capabilities, love to work overtime, helping us out to fix things here and now and definitively. And while quick, clear, linear thinking is a wonderful capacity in times of routine or urgent crisis, the more nuanced evolution of big issues and dilemmas can rarely be dispatched solely by logical equation or direct attack. Frustrated with the failure to reach an immediate resolution, the mind tends to convert its overactive energy into stress - magnifying the pressure one already feels.

When the mind becomes a hindrance, rather than help, the best thing you can do is to thank it. Recognize that it just wants to set everything straight for you so that you can move away from discomfort. Thank it, acknowledge it, and dismiss it, so you are free to turn inward and grow.

Shift from your headspace to your heart space in whatever way best suits you. Yoga and meditation are great options, but consider also anything that sparks your spirit: spending time in nature, enjoying a good book, laughing with friends, playing with your children, caring for a pet, working on a creative project.  

Be prepared for discomfort. You may have to exist in a state of uncertainty for some time, allowing internal or external circumstances to shift naturally. You may have to trust in the inherent goodness of this life experience, in the absence of any current supporting evidence. You may have to go against your natural yang inclination to actively force a conclusion and instead embrace your yin nature to allow the situation to unfold.

Remember those brain teasers, made up of colorful repeating patterns in which there is an image or message that will pop out, the longer you stare at the whole, without focusing on any one spot? Often the impossible situations we face must be approached in the same way, in order to find the hidden answer. Relax the brain, connect with yourself and allow the right resolution to make itself known.