The First Step: Creating the Seed
The process of mindful problem solving is based upon a very simple concept: If one is present- with a still and quiet mind, clarity will follow. With continued awareness, focus and perseverance, this clarity will help you identify your challenge and ultimately its solution. This all begins with a bold openness to explore and trust in the unknown.
In the exercise below, we will ask you to use your mind to define your challenge. Please be aware and be rigorously honest with yourself. Oftentimes when we are stuck, there is an element of pain, fear and self-doubt. This is our ego resisting and not wanting to be discovered. When you see or feel yourself resisting, that is an indication you are getting close to both seeing the seed and to discovering the optimal place to plant it.
Begin the exercise by closing your eyes, relaxing and slowing finding your breath.
Practice this for a few minutes and then begin with the 1st step below.
1. Write down your challenge in one sentence.
2. Reduce your challenge to one word.
3. What other words might you use? Look for synonyms in the Merriam-Webster Thesaurus and choose one that resonates with you.
4. Why did you choose that particular word? Please describe in your own words what that word means to you.
5. Write down Webster’s definition of the word. Does this add any new dimensions or perspectives?
6. Within the description of the dictionary definition, is there another word that better describes the essence of your challenge, or intrigues you? If so, repeat the process with the new word, starting with step 4. If not, please move on to step 7.
7. Did any of your explorations give you a new way of looking at your challenge?
8. Write down your original word and expand it into one sentence. Now do the same with any additional words you discovered.
9. On a single piece of paper of any size, write your challenge at the very center.
10. Lastly, read it aloud- softly and slowly three times.
Now, close your eyes, relax and once again, breathe slowly. Be conscious of your breath as you inhale and exhale. Practice this for a few minutes.
Following your practice, visualize your challenge written at the center of the paper.
Now, visualize yourself taking action on this challenge. Ask yourself, ”Do I feel joy, ease and lightness within?”. You have transformed your challenge into a seed.
You are now ready to plant it!