“There are, at least, TWO ways to relate to anything: a small minded way and a large minded way. Choose large mind.”
John G. Sullivan
Open up the lens of your thinking by choosing “large mind”. A helpful image to consider when your thoughts, under stress, are going down the “psycho path”: when we feel upset, scared, angry, or generally thinking negatively. Soon, pessimistic recourse is all that we can imagine. Consider the comic from the New Yorker magazine: A person is walking through the woods and comes to a fork in the road—one path is marked “scenic path” and the other is marked “psycho path”. Choose the scenic path of large mind, which can offer a way to shift into a perspective that permits integrative, insightful and creative thinking.
Take away: A colleague of mine, Dr. Lynn Johnson suggests a method called “Shifting up” when confronted with stressful situations, made up of three steps: Shift, Recall and Ask:
1. Shift from stressful thoughts to breathing. Breathe in slowly for 30 seconds and focus on your heart beating.
2. Recall a positive situation and emotion where you felt peaceful, confident and secure or genuine love for someone.
3. Ask yourself, “What is the highest and best way to handle this situation?” Listen to your heart, a change of feeling, a thought from the frontal lobe of your brain (where advanced insight comes from). Trust what comes and do it.
Our challenging work environments require intelligence and creativity. Being your best necessitates practicing methods to connect with your innate wisdom. I invite you to practice some of these methods as ways to tap into your heart’s wisdom to solve some of your daily challenges.
Resources: Johnson, Lynn. “Activate Your Frontal Lobes: One Minute to Increased Intelligence and Creativity.” 1999 – 2004.