The Pleasure of Thinking – Learning from the Thinking Man
This week has been quite exciting…
I started a thinking process of how I want to focus my intentions in the next five years – or rather, I put this thinking process into the focus of my attention.(“Focusing my intentions” into the focus of my attention – yes, I have outstanding humor and a sense of playing with words.)
Anyway, it’s incredible how much fear and energy this process is waking up.
Working with my own business and going to all kinds of workshops and watching videos on how to be good entrepreneur doing a business-plan and a five-year-plan and all of these smart things, have been recommended to me for a long time. I know a lot of theory (I also studied economics and business administration for 2 years), met with quite a few mentors and I even have started processes of thinking about long-term planning many times. I made big promises and comments – I think I told one of my mentors that I would like to work with the Danish Queen in a couple of years.
I was never really scared, I was never worried to write these things down, or worried about fulfilling these plans. It felt like something I was supposed to do and have (a plan) in order to show that I know what I’m doing and I’m a “good student”. To show that I really mean it and that it’s clear I will make it with my business, because… Well, I have a plan.
At the same time however, I hardly believed in these plans and I have worked quite differently than they suggested. I’m very hands on, as some of you might know, and I’m looking for ways at making it work. I like to work fast and I like to create change quickly. After having made a decision I look for ways of how to put into action. Or I even start with the action and then feel what decision this reveals to me. I’m good at doing and I’m good at feeling.
The longest plan ahead I had, was moving to Denmark… August it comes to mind, September, October, November I go there for a week, January I move my life. And this felt like a really long plan.
I like to live like this, because there is a rush of excitement that comes from taking a decision and throwing myself into something more or less unknown. Because I not only get to discover the thing itself but also aspects of me that I didn’t preconceive. This is an energy and a sense of adventure that I love.
I also notice another side to this way of being, though: Sometimes I do in order to avoid thinking. Thinking to me for a long time was “just theory”, wishful thinking, often not related to reality and like those business- and five-year-plans of mine something that could be dismissed at any time.
However, having met the thinking man in combination with increasing my body attention over the past years taught me something about my way of dealing with thinking, that made it very physical and real to me.
I started to notice a difference when I’m thinking about a topic that means something to me and when it’s just bullshitting myself (or others) to pretend I thought about it and I have a plan. I realized that when I think about something real, I am scared. I get anxious about what other people might have to say about this (it’s bullshit, it’s unrealistic, it’s something they don’t agree with) and that what they have to say about it will discourage me. And that, as I have experienced so many times before, I won’t make it reality.
For a long time it was important for me that I’m not afraid. Not being afraid meant the same to me as being a strong, courageous and independent person. So in order to keep up that image, especially for myself, I avoided noticing when I was afraid. This means I did my thinking processes without feeling fear, without noticing what means something and what doesn’t. And then it gets quite hard to decide, which are thoughts to follow up on and which are just thoughts that make the day interesting. Then plans are just pretense and the actual actions can easily be influenced by what is urgently necessary (have enough clients to survive the next month) or seems most exciting this very moment (take a spontaneous trip).
The thinking man is a person who likes to think about everything. A lot. In any situation of everyday life he can think about possible other ways to see them and gives alternative interpretations or options to chose from before doing the actual thing.
While I couldn’t imagine this for myself, it also fascinated me to see and experience someone who enjoys thinking as an activity so much. And to notice, how he would sometimes use thinking in order to create actual change, for example to stop a behavior that he wasn’t satisfied with.
It intrigued me to learn that. For me thinking always was supposed to lead to concrete and immediate action and if it didn’t I could really get restless, want to drop the subject or switch topic.
At some point he said that he didn’t want to be the one teaching me, which is fair enough because I was defensive and got quite emotional sometimes when he would ask questions about my thoughts. Especially when it was about subjects that are really dear to me and where I got to meet this fear and anxiety that something might be at stake.
In a way I am ignoring his wish not to be my teacher by continuously learning from him. In conversations, in remembering moments that inspired me or by just practicing on my own. I combine it with what I have learned about letting go of tension in my body and relaxing into fear. When I catch myself switching subjects, rather than following up on thoughts, I notice clearly, that it is just a reaction to this fear. When I get restless, I’m letting go of the need to have a concrete action and dive into the activity of thinking.
I have waves of heat going through my body, I can feel my skull tingling and the butterflies in my belly are going crazy. I continue breathing and I stay on the subject. Before jumping into action I let the thoughts work in the back (and front) of my head. And instead of a boring and annoying time to be passed as fast as possible, it’s actually quite adventurous and exciting to think.
I pay attention to the sensation of fear and the moments where I get defensive, in order to find out what I am protecting. This is very scary because I notice where I am not oh-so-strong, what (and who) I am afraid to lose or what is painful.
However, it shows me, where I’m vulnerable. Which means it shows me what I love and where I want to invest my energy. When I drop the pressure that each individual thought has to create immediate results, thinking becomes more like exploring than solving something urgent and it’s a pleasurable experience in itself.
P.S. I would still like to meet and introduce my work to the Queen, so if you have any good ideas on how to pursue this, get in touch!
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