how to think clearly when all you see is fog
The other day a colleague requested coaching on an issue that was causing her great distress.
When we connected on the phone, her first words to me were,
"I think I'm ok. I feel much better now."
My colleague understands how the mind works and how our thoughts work, and yet, even she found herself caught up in her thinking and experiencing stress.
It happens to all of us.
Our thoughts are masterful at creating a world which imagines itself to be real.
During the course of our conversation, I drew her attention to the fact that her mind had cleared of its own volition.
She had done nothing overt to shift her thoughts.
They had simply shifted on their own.
This realization points to a profound truth; our psychological mind is designed to naturally return us to a place of well-being and peace...homebase, if you will.
Much like a homing pigeon who has the ability to navigate its’ way back home,
no matter the distance or terrain,
Our psychological mind has that ability as well,
no matter the distance or metaphorical terrain.
So why can't we return to 'homebase' immediately upon any form of psychological distress?
In a word: THOUGHT
While our ability to think is an amazing instrument put to great use, it can also be used as an instrument for self-inflicted frustration and suffering.
Given an initial distressing thought or situation, for example, we often find ourselves ruminating on that one thought...expanding and intensifying it in the process until all we can see and feel is the nightmare scenario we've created within our mind's eye.
Our ability to conjure or acknowledge any other possibility has been crippled by our fixation and exclusive commitment to that one initial stream of thought.
In doing so, we have lost our way and temporarily lost our ability to see with clarity.
Imagine it like this:
Our thoughts are like warm breath on a cold window pane.
Breathe on the same spot without pause and the glass remains fogged and unclear.
Leave space between breaths, however, and the glass returns to its natural state thereby allowing you to see clearly once again.
So it is with our minds.
Ruminate and expand on the same distressing thought, without pause, and our minds become fogged and lacking in clarity.
Allow space within the mind, however, and new thought springs forward without effort illuminating those first initial steps toward a return to clarity and homebase.
This is the beauty of our psychological mind.
No matter how far your mind may travel
no matter what terrain it may cross
it will always,
to bring you back home.