Monday, September 26, 2011

Open Field of Thought

So often we come upon big ticket questions and concerns that seem to have no logical, linear answers. All considered options seem to jam us up even more. Answers (if and when they come) are muddled and all too familiar. It's like we're in a traffic jam of thinking where no thought seems to open up the congestion. 

You know about traffic jams - no way out, can't move out of the position we're in; want to get somewhere but can't; frustration, urgency, annoyance, anger, and even fear kick in.  We might even get desperate and start honking our horn and blaming everyone else for the gridlock we find ourselves in. 

At these moments, I find it helpful to imagine there is an open field of thought just steps away from my traffic jam. 

In this image, I see myself taking a deep in-breath and out-breath - and slowly slipping out from behind the wheel of my overheating car. I leave it idling in the middle of the highway. I abandon all the stuff I've stored under my seats, in my trunk, on the top rack of my car. I fore go obsessing about my highway destination. I just get out and leave it all behind. I glide between all the other cars and LEAP over a fence into a beckoning field.  

The field is serene. No gates, no do not enter or danger signs; just open, lush, rolling, endless calm. This is the field of open possibility of thought; it's my inner zen zone where all the urgency and road rage can fall away. When this happens, I am able to play with options and answers, which had eluded me when I was in my grid locked state of mind. 

Images are powerful. They actually shift the mind from one state of being to another; one mode of processing to another. The fight/flight/freeze (stress response) is interrupted when we push the pause button and divert our focus to an image that supports more ease of thought (relaxation response).

I use the traffic jam metaphor because the notion of interrupting our gridlocked thoughts seems as impossible (and ridiculous) as abandoning an overheated vehicle on the highway. It's a radical idea. It's illogical. But that's the beauty of images; they bypass our logical thinking (left brain, codes information verbally) and release us into a field of intuition and imagination (right brain, processes information visually). 

The image is the thing. The body responds to an imagined reality as if it were the real thing. Neuroscience thrills me with its findings that when the brain creates images, the same parts of the visual cortex are activated as when the eyes process real-world input. Now, that's radical!  The use of calming imagery has been shown to decrease the flow of adrenaline and return the body (even in moments of high stress) to a state of equilibrium. Equilibrium is our home base balance point - where creative problem solving, out of the box brainstorming, and intuitive, spontaneous, radically new and liberating options are wide open and flowing.  

So, my invitation for LEAPING right here, right now - is to think about a life situation that has you dead-ended or gridlocked. Then, close your eyes, take a deep breath in; deep breath out and invite an image to form that gives you a visceral sense of an open field of thought and possibility. Go with whatever comes; don't question it; first image; best image. Then, hang out there and see what happens. Often images will turn into movies (waking dreams/active imagination) and take us (if we are willing) on a journey toward the most LEAPING answers and options possible. 

Monday is a perfect day to spend some time in the reality that we are always in a pure state of potential and the only thing that stops us from new and unimagined (!) possibilities is our own 'do not enter, danger, no playing allowed' signs. 

Let me know where your journey takes you. 

And if I haven't hit you over the head with it enough already....

KEEP LEAPING!







1 comment:

  1. This is a lovely third eye opener and a powerful leaping off metaphor, definitely works for me.

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