It was a Tuesday afternoon, and I had a full slate of items on my “to do” list. I had so much on my mind; lately, it seemed that while I slept my list managed to get longer. That particular day I had a speech to write, but the words weren’t coming to me. There were flashes of inspiration, but they were fleeting and not easily captured. I had questions but I had no answers and I could feel myself getting more irritated at the lack of momentum. I needed to walk away from it.

Have you been there?

You have so much going on that you just can’t come up with the answers you need? Maybe it’s a problem at work that you’ve been “chewing” on for a while, but there is no movement towards a solution. It is so frustrating!

So here’s what I did. I made a pot of sauce, and as I write this, I can still smell the Bolognese.

Now you may think, what can Bolognese possibly have to do with getting answers? Well, a whole lot actually.

Think about a time when you lost something and scoured the house looking for it, only to find it in a very obvious place a week later. Have you ever struggled to remember a name of someone you met only to have it come to you out of the blue? Do you ever have great ideas come to you when you sleep or are showering or driving?

Yes, we all do, but now I want you to understand why.

When you obsess about a problem or try to force the answer; that is a very “conscious mind” sort of process. If the answer were in our conscious mind, then it would already be there. We’d know it. But instead we need to remember it, and memory is a subconscious process.

Have you ever been in a conversation and you can’t get a word in edgewise? You’re waiting for them to take a breath so you can comment but they don’t even seem to do that. It’s frustrating, right? Well, that’s what’s going on here. Your conscious thoughts are trying to force the solution, and your subconscious mind which has the solution can’t get a thought in edgewise.

Until…you go and do something else. Something that is mindless or automatic, like driving, walking, showering, and yes, even cooking. When you can point your mind in another direction and do something you enjoy that is more creative or restorative, you allow your subconscious answers to surface.

It may not come all at once but instead in pieces. You may remember someone who had experience with this problem. You might discover the business card of the person who can make an introduction for you. You could have a conversation with someone on a topic unrelated that will make a connection in your mind that gives you the solution. It’s amazing how it happens!

But first, you’ve got to create the space that allows it to happen. The next time you’ve got a BIG problem to solve, devote time to stop consciously thinking about it. Take a walk, meditate, draw, dance, or yes, make a pot of Bolognese. You’ll be happy you did.

Here’s wishing you the clarity you deserve!

P.S. If you find yourself wanting a bit more clarity to get out of your own way and get the results you deserve click HERE.