The solution to a dilemma is found within – Not just within yourself but also, within the dilemma. It’s all in how you look at the problem, your perspective, and what assumptions you have accepted that may need to be re-evaluated, your paradigms and beliefs.
Re-evaluated through a new perspective provides fresh insights into the problem and its underlying components, agreements, and belief systems.
You have to be focused and clarifying. Objective rather than subjective n your evaluation.
In psychology we talk about an observing ego.
The underlying aspect of an observing ego is an unattached perspective of yourself – observing and evaluating your behavior from a slight distance without subjectivity. It’s an aspect of yourself that is more neutral and observant. It provides information about reality testing and whether your paradigms are fully informed. From a psychological perspective developing your mindfulness will develop your observing ego resulting in an internal system for paradigm identification and shifting.
Perspective alteration leads to paradigm shifting, especially when done in a neutral unattached mindful way.
Usually a person evaluates a chronic or bothersome problem as if running on a track, and with each repeat of the course of thinking he creates a rut in thinking, so that he is unable to see other perspectives, interpretations, or outcomes. This creates a feeling of being stuck, constriction, and powerlessness.
Sometimes this worsens over time as each course chooses a subjective negative perspective leading to a downward spiral – this is depressive thinking.
The more one repeats runs around the thinking track the more one feels stuck. This deep and constant feeling of discouragement decreases a persons capacity to see from a whol-istic, mindful perspective. And this makes the solution that is present invisible to the person. This results in internalized frustration that then pervasively affects other aspects of his life, and life choices.
The solution is present in the interpretation of the components of the problem. Looking at a problem from various perspectives shifts the rut in thinking, or offers a new visual or sensory perception of the problem.
Changing your perspective is like changing the lens of a camera it shifts the image, it allows one to see various details of the image differently. This is true about a problem too – shifting your perspective allows details to be viewed differently, some become more clear others obscured – like zooming in or out. It allows for a shifting between figure and ground or paradigm perspectives.
Through this re–view one is able to see what assumptions, paradigms, internalized or introjected belief systems are informing one’s thinking regarding a problem.
Here is an example of a relationship problem.
A person is in a relationship that does not serve her. She feels obligated to her partner but doesn’t feel fulfilled; these feelings are at cross purposes. She has a belief system that requires she stay in the relationship. She tells herself she must deal with it and suppress or “get over” what she is feeling. This requires a denial of who she is at a core level.
If she is successful at this then she splits away from herself and feels alone and disconnected.
If this is not successful then she feels incompetent and develops poor self-esteem.
At various intervals she feels stuck – neither option of staying or going feels like a solution because she has set up a complicated bind of agreements, beliefs, and expectations that together are incapacitating. Therefore, she feels stuck and powerless in her life.
The solution is present within the dilemma but she will have to look at each of the agreements, interpretations and expectations that make up the problem to determine which are inaccurate or untenable. Then she will have to re-choose how she wants to act in the relationship.
First she has to center herself on what she wants and believes and then the action or solution to the problem will present itself. If her wants and beliefs are at cross purposes then she will be stuck in her thinking and be unable to act.
This is mindful paradigm perspective shifting and I call it Soul-utions focused re-working or working through.
Why Soul-utions ? The soul or heart is whence she needs to be evaluating her situation – not the mind/thinking alone. Think of mindfulness as the mind filled with the guidance of the heart. The mind is directed by core instinctive knowings which are deeper and more personal than the social mores that are laid over our internal sense of self. These are more personal but not more subjective, so that connecting to the core of yourself allows you to be more objective in your analysis of a situation.
Since we are social beings it is difficult at times to separate what is truly our center – our instinctive knowing – and what is a social or group expectation overlay. Coming from our heart helps us make this distinction.
The more one practices mindfulness and meditation and breathing, the more one has access to his or her internal, centered, perspective of the world.
As you look through this mindful, internal, centered lens you are able to see the solution to whatever dilemma you are facing; it is within you (from your center) and within the components of the problem.
A good way to start this process is to remind yourself to go within, stay centered and re-view what paradigms or perspectives make up the choices that make up the problem. Some people find getting to a heart centered perspective requires a spiritual connection or praying – these modes can be helpful. I find meditation useful.
You will find that mindfully looking at the problem from different angles will be beneficial.
See you tomorrow.