Does it ever happen to you? You are trying to decide something, figure out what happened, understand what you think, feel, or should do. There is a LOT on your mind. It distracts you, keeps you lying awake. Thoughts are churning, you can’t NOT think about it. You debate the same pro’s and con’s over and over without getting anywhere new. Meanwhile, nothing changes. You are stuck. You have a mild, medium or intense case of ANALYSIS PARALYSIS.
As powerful as the human mind is, we have another faculty for knowing things. It is less well-defined and, unfortunately, not very well trusted and utilized. It is still considered lame, bogus, even mystical. Our language is imprecise; we describe it as a gut feeling, following our heart, a hunch, “I don’t know how I know, I just know”, and (correctly) intuition. It is a key part of our total “sensory system”. And it’s time we quit suffering and live with the full benefits of this way of knowing truths directly from our own soul.
“Listening to soul” is nothing magical: Soul is simply the part of you that sees the big picture. And listening to it is extremely practical. The mind can compute a million details (content), while the heart can take in the entire situation (context) and “get it” in one impulse, without thinking at all.
The things that matter most to you are more easily known to the heart’s subtle, calm, “still, small voice”. Just as a parent can patiently listen to a child ranting in a tantrum, your higher awareness can calmly observe the frantic chatter of the monkey-like mind. Are you familiar with these two voices inside of you? Wouldn’t it be nice to reside in the clear and calm one?
Here are some concepts and practices to make the switch:
– When something is troubling, bothering, overwhelming, confusing…
– Don’t go after it, attack it, get wound up tight. Your first priority is to get clear. When you do act, it will be from there.
– Instead, de-escalate. Calm your nervous system and relax the mind.
I hope you know at this point in your life what works fast and best for you to do this. Yoga and Kundalini meditations are the most effective methods I’ve found, but there as many ways as there are minds.
– When you get a bit of space in there, ask your mind to wait for further instruction. Reassure it that everything is okay; to sit and wait like a faithful dog until you give it the next “ball to chase”. Train your mind!
This might take minutes, days, or years! You may not trust at first that this is the most efficient way to “fix the problem” since we are trained to go after the symptom at the surface.
In yogic terms we say, be sure to listen BOTH to the negative and the positive sides (thoughts), but get to neutral before you speak or act. You can almost always buy some time, postpone a response until you are crystal clear, until you know you are acting in your best, long-term interest.
Folks ask me, “How do I know that I am hearing from the Soul and not the Mind?” I say, “Practice!” Practice what? When you see, hear, feel or sense and get the truth, it is totally, instantly clear, just like that light bulb in the cartoons. It is deeper, in your body, and surer than a thought. You feel certain, at peace, and at least momentarily willing to stand against all odds to pursue more of that same sensation.
So in a beautiful irony, the remedy for Analysis Paralysis is to not think. Rather, to solve the situation from your heart. Once you know what must be, throw the ball for that energetic dog. Say, “okay mind here’s the deal; go get it.” When you feel so much better, and also see that things work out better, you’ll learn to trust your Self.