May 042017

My computer has been giving me trouble — the little rainbow wheel spins and spins, I can’t scroll, the keyboard is out of communication, pages take forever to load, then the whole thing freezes up. My dear husband has weathered my concerns by running extensive diagnostics, deep cleanses, reboot, rebuild… finally we took it to the Geek Squad. They performed serious stress tests and sent it home “cured”, only the exact same problem started up when it returned. Aggravation! We took it to them again, and in conversation with the agent we discovered that we might, in fact, have had a different problem altogether…

My mentor Erik Bendix has on numerous occasions reminded me of a quote from F.M. Alexander: “the hardest problems to solve are the ones that don’t exist.” Turns out it wasn’t the computer’s problem at all: apparently routers go bad after a few years. We replaced the router and Voilà! Computer works great! High-speed ahead!!

Sometimes our attempts to solve an apparent problem yield no improvement because that problem doesn’t exist — we’re looking in the wrong place. You can’t fix something that isn’t broken. If your knee is giving you pain, is the knee the problem? Maybe the knee is responding appropriately, perfectly in fact, to the conditions at hand. Maybe we need to look upstream at what’s paining the knee! Is it really my body that’s hurting, or is it my heart? Do I have a pain in my neck, or am I being one, or persisting in the belief that someone else is??

In short, it yields better results (more creative thinking) when I ask myself, “What if nothing’s wrong here? What if no one is misbehaving?” If this apparent problem isn’t the problem, what else might be going on? Hearing the answer, well… that’s where courage comes in.

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