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Problems: If you put them down, they might not be there when you come back 2

“When you’re in the middle of a problem, it can be difficult to step away. Your brain wants to Solve This Thing Right Now. But many times, stepping away is just what is needed.” -Vicki Brown

In my last post, I said the following about stepping back from our problems:

This is not a matter of sticking one’s head in the sand or being irresponsible. It’s a pragmatic decision rooted in the understanding that we have greater access to both our logical mind and our creative mind when our thoughts are unclouded by the frustration that stems from mentally and verbally rehearsing difficulties over and over again.

One of the main reasons we sell ourselves short and opt for quick fix solutions is because we have very little faith in the payoff of temporarily stepping back from our problems.

Sadly, we simply don’t trust ourselves enough to rely on our inner resources. Even though we know quick fixes always unravel over the long-term, we settle for them because…

“Hey, it’s SOMETHING, right? Who can afford to take a walk, listen to music, meditate, or sit around and think when there are problems to solve?”

This is the kind of question that can only emanate from a soul that has failed to experience its own depths.

The philosopher, Blaise Pascal wrote “All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone”

If you ever want to make the shift from

a frantic lifestyle where you urgently jump from problem to problem


a lifestyle where you’re able to tap into a peace of mind that can be brought to bear on everyday issues,


you must go beyond philosophy and enter the realm of practice.

Trust in your inner wisdom isn’t based on a blank slate. It comes from experiencing a sound demonstration of its reliability through personal experience.

You must excercise faith and take a risk on the idea that your inner resources are worth exploring. Whether you talk a walk through the park or you “sit quietly in a room alone”, you must experiment with unplugging your energy from the illusions of urgency that demand your attention right here and now.

Some refer to this as the process of “finding your inner happy place.” I prefer to think of it as bringing your thoughts into alignment with an Inner Presence which knows nothing of fear or lack. If you’re willing to play around with this practice (you don’t have to be super serious to get results), you will develop a confidence that refuses to be intimidated by the challenging circumstances of life because you’ll be intimately acquainted with what’s inside of you.

“greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.” I John 4:4

I’d like to end this post by sharing the words of a friend who I greatly respect as having overcome many tough challenges in his life.

I highly encourage you to check out his blog One direction – forward.  His words speak volumes about the vast spaces of possibility and power that open up within ourselves when we dare to turn our attention away from problems in exchange for the opportunity to search out the riches of inner life. I end with his testimony. I hope you find solace and inspiration in his words. Cheers – T.K.Coleman

“I have learned to practice the walk-away approach to problem-solving when my head gets to noisy with fatigue or frustration. I have practiced it long enough now to trust it. It has proven to me to get results. Many a time, when I feel I am at a stalemate with a task or problem, I simply walk away from it for a time. Not quit, but, like a boxer, go back to my corner for a moment. 
More recently, I take a moment and specifically surrender the problem. In my experience, surrender has two distinct aspects. The first is going hands-off. The next is turning it over to a power greater than myself, which in my case is God, and then letting him direct traffic in the matter.
When I return to the problem, I have enjoyed the practical benefits of an emotional reset so my head isn’t so noisy. I then step out in faith and do the first thing I sense I am being directed to do. Which usually leads to something else and something else, and before I know it, the problem is solved.”
-Chaz @ One direction – forward.
This Post Has One Comment
  1. Hey TK! I am honoured (Canadian spelling) once again with your reference to my journey.

    I agree completely with “One of the main reasons we sell ourselves short and opt for quick fix solutions is because we have very little faith in the payoff….”

    As men, we are often expected by our cultures and roles to ‘take charge’, or ‘take control’. So stepping back would challenge this influence and belief. Yet it is powerful!

    I have heard hardened ex-cons and street addicts with years of clean time and changed live share how they let go of daily challenges when it begins to chip away at their serenity. Which is what I mean when I refer to our heads getting noisy. Imagine that? Rough, tough guys who lived by their wits and fists for decades now practice surrender? And their lives are changing and improving? That’s powerful!

    And it appears to be a universal principle … like gravity … works everywhere for everyone the same way regardless to what we actually believe about the broader theories of faith, science, life, and the universe.

    My wife and I run a busy, growing business. We have learned to accomplish more by doing less! And when the going gets tough, we step back. Not hide, not run, but retreat to our corner to decompress and listen for inspiration and guidance. And I do not mean that necessarily on a super-spiritual level. This is very practical.

    Sometimes just drawing from one positive thing that someone said or we read days, weeks, or months ago is the tiny bit of a track to run on to step back in and play one more card in the hand of what we are dealing with. It may only seem like a 2, but who are we to say that it is not time to play a 2? Many a card game was one with three 2’s. Even two 2’s. We don’t KNOW which is why we trust. We don’t know what hand is unfolding so we just play the next card.

    And when we are rattled, frustrated, or fatigued, frankly almost any source of inspiration is better than our wounded thinking at that moment.

    I continue to be inspired by our dialogues Bro!

    Look forward to more.



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