Thinking with the Heart
Are you an over-thinker? -Especially when it comes to relationships? I talk to so many people who are thrilled to have finally found love, but who are simultaneously realizing how terrifying it is. For the over-thinker, this is the moment their brains start flooding with analysis, what-if's, fearful scenarios, over-generalizations, over-focus on details, and general difficulty just sitting back and being with the other.
Full disclosure: I'm an over-thinker. I once recognized the telltale signs in a client, and said "You have inside jokes with yourself, don't you?" He gave me a stunned look and said "HOW DID YOU KNOW?!" It takes one stuck-in-their-thoughts person to recognize another. Sometimes during over-thinking you'll make a hilarious connection, but the only way to share it with another person is to revisit the entire circuitous series of interconnected, overlapping thoughts that led up to the hilarity. Best just to just chuckle to yourself.
I had a fantastic moment with my friend Robin recently. (If you are one of the few people in Asheville who haven't met her yet --she's a tad outgoing--, you must check her out www.robinplemmons.com). Anyway, I was having one of those moments of vulnerability that drove me straight into over-analysis. I was full-on into over-thinking, rumination mode. As if thinking about it enough, analyzing all the possibilities, would somehow ward off vulnerability. -As if, upon anticipating every scenario, there would be no room for fear, pain or sadness if those scenarios ensued, because I would have "planned" it out ahead of time. I was on my little thought-mouse-wheel, thinking I was running somewhere and in control of the situation, but just wearing myself out. Robin just quietly said, "Jane. Less head, more heart. Trust it."
So simple. So centering. I got off the mouse-wheel, checked in with my heart, and decided to just trust it. Being in our hearts means we may get hurt, we may look foolish, we may say or do the "wrong" thing. But it's the only way to really be present, to avoid "analysis-paralysis", and to make decisions from the deepest part of ourselves, our authentic selves, rather than from the fearful "should" place. When we get back into our hearts, we feel the fear instead of trying to control it-- and we find out the fear isn't all that powerful in the first place. Leading with the heart is a lot more fun, too.
This Valentine's Day, take a moment to get out of your head and check back in with your heart. Let it be the source of your motivation, even if that feels like a huge risk. Put your heart out there a little. And if you have a few inside jokes with yourself along the way, enjoy those too.