Finding the solution to a problem is not always about just thinking and working harder on it. I had this concept come home to me again recently. So here is a little story to illustrate this surprising key to finding the answers to problems that you are having trouble finding a solution to.
I was having a tough week, lots to do and not sure how to handle a new challenge that evolved. I had wrestled with it trying to focus and actively find a solution when I was at a point that I felt my brain was fried. I finally decided to go to bed and start anew the next day. Not a bad strategy in itself. I was so wound up I thought maybe a guided sleep meditation might help me go to sleep easier. I had recently reviewed a children’s cd that was devoted to helping children relax and cope with anxiety. I remembered one of the stories being about a harried caterpillar that was all tied up in knots. I thought ok, that’s me!
And I listened . . . A little girl was in the meadow. She saw a caterpillar who was scurrying around all tied up in knots. She asked him “What is wrong?” The caterpillar answered that he was all tied up in knots that he had to find green leaves to eat and find a place to create a cocoon all before nightfall. The little girl giggled and said first let me help you relax. She asked the caterpillar to lie down and had him relax all of his feet and then his body, etc. until he was all relaxed. The caterpillar was no longer knotted up. He began to feel the warm sunlight and gentle breeze in the meadow. The little girl asked him to let all of his thoughts leave his mind and let it relax. His mind was now still and quiet and very clear. As the little caterpillar looked up he saw a beautiful tree full of juicy leaves. And a lovely branch that would be perfect for his cocoon. So he ate and ate the juicy leaves and began his cocoon in the safe place that he was able to find when his mind was quiet and still. He thanked the little girl for her gift of helping him to relax and find the answers to his problem. All was well.
As I finished this story I felt nice and relaxed and begin to drift off to sleep. But before sleep came, I had this lovely solution pop into my head as to what to do with the challenge that had plagued me all day. I was so excited I got up and jotted down this creative and unique idea. Went back to bed and had a great night of sleep. This was a nice reminder for me about how letting our mind rest and clear can create fertile ground for the sprouting of fresh, new ideas.
The story I have shared is a summary of “The Goodnight Caterpillar” found on Lori Light’s cd, Indigo Dreams, Track #4. www.stressfreekids.com . This is great cd for children (and adults) for stress reduction.
This fun story is great for sleep. But one of its key messages is that when we relax our body and our mind, clearing our thoughts and entering a quiet, still place, we can then really see the solutions for problems or worries. Letting go and unwinding and relaxing fully will bring us great rewards. Think about it. When do you find your best solutions? For me it is normally not when I am at my desk, but when I am out for a walk or taking a break from my work or just after meditating. Other times might be while I am in the shower or drifting off to sleep.
So consider not working so hard and letting the answers come to you while you are in a relaxed state. Doesn’t that sound like so much more fun!