This week has sucked for me. I have spent a lot of time following “Step #3” from my last post – step back and see the puzzle. I can see my current puzzle in a hundred different ways. My logical brain can analyze it until it starts to smoke. I enjoy this type of thing, or I wouldn’t spend so much time doing it; it was not a complete failure on my part to initially become an accountant – I love puzzles, and I love cracking them. I just like ones of the soul better than the mind.
I knew I was hitting analysis paralysis. I’ve done all the thinking I possibly can, come up with all scenarios I can, and I still have no answer.
I turned to the only thing that gives me peace when faced with so many potential conclusions – I decided to color.
Coloring might sound ridiculous, especially if you are someone like me who loves analysis. But think of it more as intuitive drawing – I’ve found that coloring helps me to access what I know on a subconscious level and doubt on a conscious level. You may have heard some variation on this statistic before – our conscious brain can process 40 bits of data per second, and our unconscious can process something like 11 million bits of data per second. I’ve heard anything from 40,000 to 4 billion bits per second on unconscious processing.
That’s a radical difference, and my curiosity is piqued by how anyone ever measures it to begin with. That’s beyond me, though, and not our topic for today. Clearly, our unconscious minds are powerhouses of data processing in comparison to our conscious minds. Using the lowest statistic possible for unconscious processing, our conscious minds can handle about 0.1% of the information that our unconscious minds can. (I did mention accounting wasn’t completely off for me, right?)
What I’ve found is that coloring helps me to access my intuition, and brings me to a deeper conclusion than I can come up with in my analytic brain.
Say you’re confused about a situation, or have to make a decision and are not sure what to do. What I like to do is start with a phrase such as, “this situation is” or “the divine plan for this situation is” and then take a piece of paper and just draw whatever comes up. Sometimes it’s a representative picture, but most often for me it’s some random scribbling of colors and shapes.
Here’s mine for today, with the phrase “the divine plan for this situation is…”
The next step in this process is to list out descriptive words that match the picture without thinking about what it means. I’ve found these change wildly even with similar pictures. Some of mine for this example are “wild growth”, “sweet”, “delicate” and “joyful.” Then I write it out, using each word to complete the sentence. In this case, that looks like:
The divine plan for this situation is wild growth.
The divine plan for this situation is sweet.
The divine plan for this situation is delicate.
The divine plan for this situation is joyful.
Often, my analysis can lead me to deep insight. Equally as often, it can lead me to places that feel drenched in fear.
This coloring process never leads me to fear; that’s the reason I trust it.
I’d love to hear how this works for you – please leave a comment with your insights. Enjoy!