You can solve any problem you currently have.
Today I’m going to tell you how.
Anything that is keeping you up at night, can actually be released, relaxed, and a clear answer can arise.
That wall in front of you? It can come down, and in it’s place can arise an open path for you to walk on.
I recognize this is a VERY bold statement to make, especially something so broad considering the depth of what I imagine you are dealing with. I am honoring that you are facing challenges that are complex, entrenched, and frustrating. I am also honoring that your experience is unique and made up of a history of conditions that contribute to where you are.
That said, the circumstances may be unique, but the way out is not.
You can solve any problem you have by opening your view.
Very often when we are in the midst of a “problem” or something we have decided is a “problem”, we can become narrow in our focus. It can be easy when we are feeling frustrated, angry, and especially scared to believe there is only one way out.
For instance, you may feel scared to share the upcoming publication of your book and be rejected, so you decide to not use social media to market your work. But you find yourself being asked again and again, “what is your Instagram?”
Or you feel really vulnerable from your last breakup and don’t want to get hurt again, so you decide to only date people who are within a five year range because your ex was ten years older and told you he felt you were too immature. Except, you are noticing you are matching with less people and your dates of late have been completely uninspiring.
Or you feel scared that your audience will find out you deal with anxiety so you take something to “numb yourself out” before you speak or perform, and yet find you still can’t handle the attention and you feel like you have lost your confidence for good. If only you didn’t feel anxious, everything would be ok!
In all of theses situations, you are stuck. You are stuck in a state you don’t want to be in with a problem that isn’t going away and you don’t know what to do. So you keep doing the same thing over and over hoping it will ONE DAY work.
Your view has become narrow. It’s as if blinders were on, blocking out what is on either side of you.
It’s when you take those off, that your answer will arise.
But, how do you do that when you are in the throes of these strong emotions, like anger, frustration, and fear? How do you wake up from the trance that has convinced you there is only one way out?
Let me give you an example to walk you through it, because it is the moment of taking off the blinders that is where the real work lies.
Last week I woke up to a fluttering sound in our wood burning stove. We’ve never used it, and it sits beautifully in our den, however we have had a sad history of birds getting stuck after coming in through a hole in the chimney. I’ve had to remove dead birds from the oven in the past.
But on this day, I saw a bird, alive, and desperately fluttering at the glass window.
I immediately started to think of how I could get the bird out, because I knew this was a matter of life and death. I opened the sliding glass door to our screened in porch, and opened the porch door so the bird would have a direct path to the outside.
I grabbed a huge bin and attempted to hold it up to the oven as I opened the door and the bird flew into the bin for a moment, and then went right up into a skylight.
It made perfect sense that the bird went there as it “looked” like this was the way out. Except there was a very thick glass window with no opening. I tried coaxing the bird with my voice, and then decided to just leave it alone for a bit with the doors open. I thought if the bird could hear their fellow feathered friends, eventually they would explore and leave the skylight.
I was wrong.
After 45 minutes, the bird was still clinging to the skylight, desperately trying to will it’s way through the glass.
I now knew the bird needed some help, so I got up on a stool with a broom and started to gently urge the bird out of the skylight. It fought the broom, and didn’t want to to leave, until finally it did fly out, but instead of heading towards the open door, it flew right into another skylight in the kitchen.
So, I got up on another chair and again, gently used the broom to guide the bird out. It finally flew into the den, perching on a window and then with some more coaxing flew out the sliding door into the screened in porch.
I closed the sliding door, thinking the bird would easily see the open screen door of the porch, but instead watched the bird frantically cling to the screen just like it had done with the skylight.
So, I went back out into the porch, again gently coaxing the bird towards the open door. The bird was deeply distressed. It’s beak was open and I knew it was in shock, panic, and could only see what was in front of it. It took quite a dance to finally guide the bird to the open door, and to the outside world where it flew to safety.
While this is a dramatic example, it does speak to how you may FEEL in the moment of your “problem”. It may feel like life and death to you, and because of that, your view narrows. And with the narrowing view, your nervous system overloads your whole being, and any ability to see thing differently.
So, here is a step by step process to explore.
- Choose a “problem” that you currently have. Start with something SMALL for the purposes of today, something that isn’t so charged emotionally for you.
- How do you FEEL about this problem? Grab a journal or a blank piece of paper and write down the feelings that come up. Do you feel angry, frustrated, embarrassed, self conscious, or shaky?
- Allow yourself to feel what you are feeling. Most of our suffering comes from refusing to feel what is actually alive. Take a moment and allow any sensations that arise. You may feel a constriction somewhere in your body, like your head, chest, or shoulders. If you want to cry or scream, allow whatever needs to be expressed. Let your energy flow.
- Now, imagine the constriction relaxing and gently expanding. Breathe deeply into your belly, and imagine your body opening slowly. If it’s helpful, you can imagine immersing yourself in a warm bath or stepping underneath a loving shower that is relaxing your skin.
- Focus on your breath and the slow rise and fall of your belly.
- Now, call upon your inner Observer. This is the part of you that is the process expert. Your Observer can analyze the effectiveness of the process in action, meaning how you are trying to “solve the problem”. The Observer is also responsible for internal reflection, assessing and reassessing what’s happening. The Observer checks in with you, and verifies the alignment of your work and makes sure your goals are coming to fruition in line with your desires. Your Observer may take the shape of an animal, spirit, object, or person. Let them come forward and ask them these questions:
1) Looking at the whole process (how you are trying to solve the problem), is anything coming up?
2) What are the key learnings here?
3) What is happening as a whole?
4) How do you feel the process is working?
- Grab your paper and write down what you learned.
- Thank your Observer and come back to your breath.
- Now, list out possible solutions and give yourself the next week to try ONE of them.
When we get narrow focused, we are only using one part of us, and that is the part that is terrified. While this is necessary when we need to run from a truly dangerous situation, our modern world has hijacked our nervous systems to believe that almost every “problem” is life or death.
The beautiful news is that you can reclaim these other parts of you.
You can reclaim your Observer that helps you see there is another way out besides the glass ceiling you keep hitting up against.
And the fact that you are experiencing the same problem again and again, probably means the universe is gently waving its sacred broom at you to look in another direction.
You can fly free from your problems and discover the solution that is right for you.
You just need some help.
So come back into your body. Process and allow your feelings to flow. And then call upon your allly, your inner Observer.
You actually have all you need within you.
The door was always open. Take off the blinders and fly out into the light.