When my first daughter was 5, she was invited to a birthday party at a gym.
At one point they decided to play hide and seek. All the children found hiding places and the birthday girl had to find them. One by one she found their hiding spots but when they did a head count there was still one child missing. The parents joined in the search for the missing girl and in the ensuing commotion someone heard a giggle and looked up.
My daughter was sitting on the ceiling rafters watching the search with glee. She’d found a rope and decided to climb it. It led her straight up to the ceiling and obviously no one thought to look for a child up there.
Remembering this makes we wonder how many ropes we encounter in life but decide, for whatever reason, to ignore. How many opportunities slip by us, either because we don’t see them or because we’re too afraid to take hold of them and discover where they lead us.
Of course, rope climbing is not without risk and when we put ourselves out there we may fall, get hurt. But at least we’ll never say, “what if I’d tried that”. The “What if’s” in life have the potential to cause more suffering than a failure.
When you’re stuck on a problem and find yourself going round in circles trying to solve it, do this:
- Find a relatively quiet place to sit and close your eyes
- Take a long slow deep breath in and just as slowly blow it out, sensing the full process in your nostrils
- Return to normal breathing and keep watching your breath, noticing its quality, the speed, the depth or shallowness, the pure sensation of breathing.
- As thoughts enter your mind, allow them in but keep shifting your attention to your breath. Just because thoughts are present doesn’t mean you have to go off with them.
- Repeat this process many times, sitting quietly for at least 5 mins.
- When you finish, slowly open your eyes and return to the room.
How do you feel? This exercise can be like rebooting the brain, opening your mind to endless possibilities. This is how children see the world.
Seeing your problems with a beginner’s mind, may make you feel more focused and centred so that ropes, solutions to the problems you were stuck in, may just swing your way.Back to Blog menu