I often wondered if there was a tool anybody could use to gain clarity about what was happening in their lives.
Is there a simple method that can help anyone clarify things?
And the good news is that there is one such tool that can help you clarify your intentions, and also what’s happening within your mind. Because unless you know what’s going on with your mind, you cannot do anything about it.
Most of the time, the problems surrounding us are not the issue. The real issue is that we don’t take the time to define them. We don’t spend enough time to properly look into the issue or the problem troubling us. Then we wonder what’s happening, why we’re stuck, and why the problem is persisting despite our best efforts. In other words, we live in a world of haze and ambiguity. And out of ambiguity, no solution can come.
Quite often the solution to vagueness is pretty simple as I found out last year when I got hold of a wonderful book, Travelling Free: How to Recover from the Past by Changing our Beliefs by Mandy Evans.
This book has a writing exercise anyone can do to gain clarity on any subject. I won’t go into detail but here’s the essence: It says that to solve an issue, it’s important not to force yourself to come up with a solution. The vital part, however, is to “clarify” what is it that’s troubling you. Because quite often what we believe to be true is not true at all. Here’s the outline of the writing exercise (not the exact method):
Take a pen (or pencil) and a notebook. (I do have one which I like to call my “Clarifying Notebook.”)
Write down the date, and then write in block letters whatever is troubling you. It would be helpful if your sentence was in question form.
For example, today, this is what I wrote in my notebook.
“WHY DO I HAVE SO MUCH CLUTTER IN MY LIFE?”
(My overflowing closet has been troubling me and I am glad I did the exercise because I found out that the reason behind the “clutter problem” wasn’t what I thought it was.)
Curious? (Okay, what the hell.) Actually, the clutter issue signifies my feelings of “unworthiness” that I have been trying to “fill” with clothes and other things. (See, I told you. Often, it’s not what we think it is.) 🙂
Once you’ve written what you think is troubling you, let the question remain with you. Don’t try to answer it from your logical mind, because doing so will defeat the purpose. The aim here is to recognize the problem or the issue at hand in its totality.
Be with the question. Let it wash over you. And then when you feel like it, put your pen to the paper and write whatever comes to your mind. Don’t edit. Don’t anyalize. Let the words flow onto the paper. When you feel you’re done, close the notebook, and sit quietly for a minute or two. Then open the notebook and see what have you written, and you might surprise yourself. You may find out that the problem you think you had was not the real issue.
I feel writing down whatever is troubling you is a wonderful idea. That way you can gain clarity and find out what the issue is, and once you know the real issue then finding a solution is easy.