Got a problem that needs solving?
Have you been racking your brain for answers and nothing seems right?
Problems are the constant in our lives.
A young man, Tom (not his real name) a very talented, struggling artist, lives in one of the most expensive cities in the world.
His dilemma is whether to stick it out as an artist or get a secure job.
Ideas flood in from people, some innovative and some typical.
What if Tom approached the problem from a different angle, rather than look for the answers outside of himself?
Instead look inside, at the feelings behind the problem.
Asking, “how do I feel about not being financially secure?” or “not having a consistent pay check?”
Chances are he is “scared” of being poor, homeless, and hungry?
Or angry that the very thing he loves and is talented at he can’t make a reasonable living.
Or “prideful” and “resentful”, I am really good at art, it isn’t fair!
Apathetic, losing drive and stamina.
Full of “shame” for not “making it” or guilty “for letting people’s perception of him down” if he were to throw in the towel.
These emotions are survival-based emotions (low level) wired in all animals, particularly primates.
Low level emotions are what keep us on our toes, afraid and hyper alert.
Ideal when we are living in the forests, or in poverty, or in a war-torn country.
Not so helpful for most of us, in fact these emotions drain our energy for thriving, retaining us in survival mode.
“Take a pause”
Don’t look for a solution to the problem, don’t move beyond the feeling.
If scared, acknowledge I am scared to death, sit with the fear and let it go.
If angry, guilty, shameful, apathetic recognise them, see them for what they are, feelings that are trying to keep you safe and secure.
Once you hold them up, notice how these very emotions that are supposed to safeguard you are sabotaging your life’s dreams, whispering potential failures in your ears, and are the actual problem.
The outcome is more energy, a new perspective and confidence.
Tom is the captain of his ship, if he avoids the feelings behind the emotions they don’t go away, stuck in repeat mode.
Surrendering to the feelings underlying the problem diminishes the negative spiral, and eventually removes the blocks that keep you from thriving.
Take a pause
What are the feelings behind the problem?
Don’t analyse, rationalise, deny, repress, simply attend to the emotions
Acknowledge and let them go.
Repeat, Repeat, until you are free
Learn about mindfulness – join me on my next Mindfulness Course in London starting 16th April more details