Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with a racing mind? It zooms in on your problems, and goes around and around in circles trying to figure out an answer. But, it’s usually in vain.
When the mind is restless, the answer can’t be heard.
The answer is there… but:
you either don’t hear it through the noise of your mind being hyper-focused on the problem…
or if you do hear it, there’s so much resistance to it (“that won’t work, I don’t think I can do that, it will be uncomfortable”) that you toss it out as impossible…
or you are afraid of what you know is the answer that you refuse to even allow it to be heard and shut it down mid-thought.
Let’s say your friend is having a problem. He comes to you asking questions. You have the perfect solution for your friend, and you tell your friend the solution, and all you hear is “Okay, but… and a bunch of reasons why that won’t work. He is not satisfied with any answer you give. His mind is so full of the problem, and beliefs about what will work and what will not, and fears about what might go wrong, that he can’t even take in another idea about a solution. Even if your friend intuitively knows it is the right answer, the beliefs and fears are too strong and he won’t be able to recognise the solution even if it’s right there, staring them in the face.
It’s similar when you talk to yourself about a problem. You might hear it, but you can’t accept it.
But when your mind is quiet, you will hear the answer. You will know its truth. You won’t question or second-guess it. And, you will feel good about doing what you need to do.
You might have a strong feeling or urge to do something. You might suddenly know exactly what you have to do. Or, you might realise that right now there is nothing you can do, and so there is nothing to do but accept the situation and “sit” with it.
That is why mental relaxation is essential.
Here’s a way for you to cultivate a still mind, and learn how to let the answers come up and be recognised as answers:
First, decide which one problem you need to solve first. Just one. Don’t complicate things by thinking about all of them at once.
Then, set the intention to be open to the answer, even if you don’t like the answer. The reality is that since the answer is already within you, you may be rejecting it because it contradicts your beliefs of what’s possible, or it plays into your fears.
Third, visualise the perfect scenario. Imagine the point at which the problem is resolved and no longer part of your life. That feels great, doesn’t it?
Next, meditate. Just release the question and quit worrying about the answer. Now is the time for silence, and stillness. Tell yourself, “Shhh… listen.”
Don’t stress about when the answer will come, because it may come during meditation or even when you’re completely absorbed in something else – the thing is, you will hear it only when your mind is not busy with the problem!
Now comes the crucial part, and that is accepting the answer. You may want to reject it, or you may fear taking action on it, so you’ve got to cultivate trust in yourself. There is a reason you came up with the answer – because it’s right for you.
Does that mean if you receive the answer through another person that you can’t accept it because it didn’t come from you? No. While you shouldn’t automatically accept what someone says, don’t automatically reject it either. Their solution might be exactly the same as the one that would come up from within you, if you were relaxed and let it come.
So whatever the source, sit with the answer in meditation. Focus your attention on the answer, and let it simmer in your mind. Let the answer become part of you – no pressure, no fear.
Explore it. It’s new. Does it FEEL right to you?
Is it a possibility that feels right in the unlimited realm of your imagination? And then consider… if it’s real and possible in my imagination, can it become real and possible in my physical world?
The key to accepting an answer is to imagine the ideal situation, and how this answer fits into that situation – in other words, working backwards from the ideal situation… to the answer… to the problem.
Give this a try, one problem at a time. And actually DO what you need to do; otherwise the answer becomes like a tool that you never pick up and use.