For those of us super “heady folks” who are gifted at reason and rational thought the title of this blog can seem like a silly question.
I get it. I am with you. I love using intellect to “figure” my way out of a situation that feels uncomfortable or challenging. There is definitely a time and a place to use logic and brain-power to find solutions.
And have you ever found yourself bumping up against an obstacle and felt your brain freeze up like fog just rolled in and obscured your ability to see things clearly or hear your own thoughts?
It is usually a sign of emotional resistance, and the way back to mental clarity is not more brain-power, but actually to pause, explore, feel, and connect with your intuition.
Here’s my most recent experience of this:
A few weeks ago I was talking to a dear friend of mine who is absolutely brilliant by societal standards. In other words, his IQ is off the charts and his intellect is nothing short of incredible. He is one of the “smartest” people I know.
We got to talking about an area of his life that has always been challenging for him but one that he has managed to keep at bay and ignore for years. Recently, however, circumstances had made it more and more intense and ignoring it was no longer an option. The situation had been creating so much disharmony and discord that it had become unbearable and was costing him not only his ability to function at work but also his health and his ability to be present as a parent.
Now, his usual approach to challenges in life is to use pure reason, stuff the uncomfortable emotions away, and “think” his way out. In this situation, however, that strategy was just not working anymore. No amount of reason was yielding a solution. In fact, as we talked, whenever he tried to “think” about it he would freeze up and it was like his brain would flat-line. I had never seen anything like this from him before.
So, I asked him, “What if you just pause for a minute and feel into this?” His first response was, of course, to deflect and laugh it off. But then something amazing happened. We sat in silence for a few minutes, and for maybe the first time ever he allowed the emotions to be there. His eyes welled up with tears and then flood gates opened.
I was honored that he felt safe enough with me to be so vulnerable. In our society, unfortunately, men don’t often let their guard down like this, and it is the case for a lot of powerhouse women too. We sat together, and he cried for about 20 minutes. Eventually, the wave of emotion subsided, and after he took a few deep breaths the energy settled.
After several more minutes of just sitting in the silence, I asked him how he was doing and he said, “I know what I have to do. I just haven’t been wanting to see it because the solution means making some really tough decisions that I haven’t wanted to make.”
I acknowledged him for his courage and we sat together and came up with a game plan for how he could take the necessary actions. But we never would have come to that if he hadn’t embraced the emotions, cleared the energy, and allowed the space for his intuition to come through.
The Hawaiians have had this figured out for thousands of years. In the Hawaiian culture, people with a deep connection to their emotional landscape and intuition were considered wiser and more valued than those who are just “book smart”.
In our society, we don’t talk about emotions much. We place greater value on IQ than we do on EQ and yet more and more studies show that successful people have a tremendous amount of self-awareness and emotional intelligence. It is a good thing we are starting to catch up.
Let’s break down how he was able to break through.
- Acknowledge when brain power just isn’t going to cut it. In other words, when the brain freezes up and you can’t see clearly or hear your own thoughts, note that there could be a deeper emotional resistance happening.
- Slow down. Pause and allow yourself some time and space for things to surface. You might just ask your unconscious mind what it is wanting you to pay attention to and then just be.
- If there are emotions that come up, lean in and feel them.
- Clear. You gotta let the energy expire. This could happen just by virtue of allowing the emotional release (emotional disclosure) or you might need some deeper level work for which I would recommend working with a qualified practitioner.
- Drop in and connect with your intuition and let the answer come from there. This could be sitting in silence, going for a meditative walk, or however, you like to connect to the source.
- Take action based on the messages you received while you are dropped-in with your own greater wisdom.
The more you do this practice the easier and faster it becomes.
Brain power is awesome, and we need both our IQ and EQ to operate most optimally. Excluding one and overcompensating with the other creates a disharmony.
So dear one, I invite you to try this on and see what happens. Share your experience here or in the Radical Resilience Facebook group — if you haven’t joined us there yet, click here to be a part of that family.
From my heart to yours…