Intentional Living Series Week Twenty One: Cognitive Gridlock

by Christine

{Painting the Get-Away Room}

"All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking." ~Friedrich Nietzsche

The post from Week 20 was about having enough energy so that you can lovingly care for those you love. Today's post addresses how to jumpstart cognitive gridlock. 

Robert Frost described the fork in the road as  "two roads diverged in a yellow wood". His is an elegant and romantic description of what can be a torturous passage from indecision to decision. Only in retrospect do life choices become clear and the awareness that the road less traveled was not always a choice but was thrust upon us by chance. In this series, I encourage the activity of sitting quietly as a means to clear your thoughts and make meaningful and intentional decisions about your life choices. But what happens when your thinking becomes grid locked and there are not just two roads but also multiple roads that present themselves.

Yes, sitting quietly is the first step in the decision making process but if you find that a path still eludes you, the next step is to get moving. Nietzsche suggests walking, Howard Roark returned to the quarry and I picked up a paint brush. When cognitive gridlock takes hold, physical motion can help clear the mental congestion that arises from the impasse of too many choices. Recently, I was confronted with choice over load and decided to get moving by painting the Get-Away Room. Yes, we name our rooms. The Get-Away Room got its name because at one point it was the only room in the house with air-conditioning. At night when the summer heat was too much, we would get away by sleeping in that room. The very act of painting this room has helped to clarify my choices and helped me move closer to a decision. 

Do you have a plan for clearing out the cognitive gridlock that can bring life to a standstill?  I suggest that your decision making can be energized by moving, by engaging in activities unrelated to your decision. Remember: Life is motion. 

Week 21 Assignment: Choose an activity that puts you in motion. 




Get caught up on the entire Intentional Living series: