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Down the Drain & Into the Light

Back in March I read a review of a book with a title much too similar to the working title of my own book. My first reaction was a nauseous feeling in my stomach, accompanied by the thought, “Well, that’s it. Might as well throw it in the trash.” The next day a friend’s questions led me to talk about my work. The finality of the “throw it in the trash” thought disappeared as I spoke to her with energy and excitement about coaching and writing. Feeling thankful for the conversation and relieved to once again connect with the foundational inspiration of all I do, we said our goodbyes.

Walking down the stairs, I suddenly had to use the bathroom. Back up the stairs. A quick “Hi…I’m back…I’ll be just a minute.” Washing my hands, a new title literally filled my head. I rushed into the other room and told my friend.

“Oh!” she gasped. “That’s it!”

It was indeed "it"—an insight for a new title, perfectly formed, that came seemingly out of nowhere. In letting go of the old title the day before I'd begun thinking of a new one, my left brain trying out different combinations of known words and concepts. Nothing had appeared right away, and I'd given up on trying, what's called the impasse stage. Yet the new title wasn't giving up—the seed of the idea moved over to the right hemisphere where the neurons have longer branches and more dendritic spines—in other words, they can collect information from a larger, more diverse area. My brain was working away—gathering, connecting, reaching for that new title.

Then the conversation with my friend brought some warmth and light to the subject, the neurons found some missing pieces, and there in a tiny pale green bathroom, voila. The new title.

Letting go—allowing old ideas to 'go down the drain' —can set things in motion and give our busy brains the needed time to go through its insight process. There's a saying "Let go, let God." God and insights live in the funniest places. We just have to let go, and let them find us.

• • • • • • • • • •

Calming Practice: 3 x 3 = Calm

To others, be kind.

Be generous.

Be compassionate.

To yourself, be kind.

Be generous.

Be compassionate.


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