It's amazing to me how often and easily I get stuck in my way of thinking. Stupid example: I hated flossed my teeth and so I never did it. It hurt. My spouse flosses before she brushes. I tried it. It hurts less. Now I floss on a regular basis. It never occurred to me that I could floss before brushing...because "that's not how it's done." At least I guess that's my thinking. I get stuck in other problems the same way. For years - and by that I mean 25 or more - I've struggled to get 8 hours of sleep. Not because I don't sleep well - because I don't go to bed early enough. I've prayed, I've talked, I've tried to bully myself into it... Nothing worked. One night I went to bed early enough. I wasn't paying attention to the dilemma that I'd been focused on for years. When I thought about it the next day, I realized I had listened to my body. I felt tired, so I went to sleep. I was paying more attention to how tired I was than to the problem. My mind was free to pay attention to other things. It's why I get good ideas while showering or doing dishes. I'm allowing my mind to relax (most of the time). A different part of my brain engages and can free associate because I'm not in the rut of the same thoughts and problems.
That's connected somehow to a dilemma I've been working and talking about at work. I have a coworker who has made up his mind about another coworker of ours. He interprets everything she does through his lens of dislike and cynicism. I do it too - I suspect many of us do. I have another coworker who in the past has been a thorn in my side at meetings. He was - in the nicest possible way - trying to take over and control the meeting. The facilitator fortunately was open to my observations and suggestions. We gave the meeting attendee a small area to control and on which he could be the expert. We also encouraged others to step up by asking them cover particular topics.We more evenly distributed the power in the meeting. Since then I've been trying to responding to the attendee as if he is being helpful.It turns out he is. He has good ideas. I would have dismissed if I'd been stuck in seeing all his actions as controlling. I'm working on being open-minded. About people and ideas.
A couple years ago I was bitching to my counselor. I'd been looking for work in a new field (marketing) for about a year. Nothing was coming. She suggested that perhaps I was not looking in the right direction. I was sure marketing was the path for me. I agreed to "be open to being surprised" as she put it. Shortly after that I found a job listing for a communications and org change consultant. I've been in that job for the past 2 1/2 years. Around the same time I had an experience that pushed me in the direction of writing. No idea where I'm going from here. So far the being open thing has worked better than my brain ruts, so I'm going with it.
Causes Julia Wolfe Supports
WGLT - public radio; moveon.org; Wellstone Action (liberal community building); ABC Counseling Center; McLean County Arts Center.