If you want to get really creative, stop believing your thoughts! Resistance to anything creates blocks in thinking and flow. We get stuck in a pattern and the mind uses its incredible resources not to solve the problem, but to justify why the problem is there in the first place!
“He should pull his weight”
“Its not my responsibility”
“She shouldn’t be so lazy”
“I’m not being paid for this”
“It’s not my job”
Around every problem that has yet to be solved, there is a pile of resistance in the form of thoughts like these creating a diversion. Thoughts guide our mind’s direction. If we are all thinking about why it’s not my problem, the mind automatically guides us into ‘because..this, that or the other’, we move into justification and defense.
Once a thought has been questioned, the mind can be redirected. We ask ‘is it true?’ as a way to invite the mind out of its rigidity. We ask ‘how do you react when you believe this thought’ as a way to show the mind how futile this thought is in creating anything positive or stress-free. We then ask ‘who would you be without this thought?’ or another way of looking at it is ‘without this thought, what would you be doing differently?’ and this is where the lightbulbs can really start working.
Every morning in my household it used to be a chaotic mix of pushing, herding, shouting, nudging, panic, lecturing, frustration, and stress to get the kids onto the bus on time. I noticed that many a morning I was packing the bags, trying to remember if it was PE or Library or homework day and often forgetting important pieces of information and getting mad at the fact the girls were mindlessly wandering about without any cares. It came to me that my stressful thought was ‘they should do more’ and with it was lots of other stressful thoughts about expat brats, poor mothering skills and the like.
As I was Inquiring into this thought (when the house was quiet again), I noticed that when I had the thought ‘my children should do more’ I just yelled at them and made everyone feel inadequate and upset. After years of yelling, it was clearly not helping or changing anything except my blood pressure. When I didn’t have the thought ‘my children should do more’ my mind started to accept this fact and automatically asked ‘so if the kids are not supposed to do more, what are you going to do to stop this insanity?’ I immediately went into problem solving mode and came up with a list of things I could do which included getting ready in the evening, packing the bags and having lists more clearly laid out as to the children’s activities by day etc. As I was brainstorming, I suddenly realized that the kids could be doing this with me. In the evenings we had more time and it could become part of the bedtime routine – in that way, my children would be doing more. Bingo, problem solved.
In any problem situation the same criteria exists. What are you resisting or thinking ‘should’ be happening that isn’t. Are you upset that someone else should be doing something that they are not? Are you annoyed that someone else isn’t taking responsibility? Are you convinced that someone is wrong? Question these beliefs and be open to taking full responsibility – you’ll be surprised at the answers that come to you once you see that change can only come from you. And if you are thinking ‘that’s not fair, I want them to change first’, then that is a good place to start!