Say the thought crosses your mind of how amazing it would be to spend the Summer kayaking in Alaska. The brain shoots back, “Oh, come on! Where’s the time, never mind the money, to zip off on some fantasy trip? Do you even know how to kayak? Impossible!” All true, you think. The brain is not lying. It is hugely true that the time, the money, the skills are not all lined up. And that is the very thing that puts an end to happy thoughts of kayaking amongst the glaciers. You are never getting to Alaska.
But you could. If you don’t let the brain’s assessment get the better of you. I have a couple of strategies in mind:
- Start small with trying the impossible. Small victories, so you’ll be ready when a giant impossibility comes along. I mean small. Small like getting up on time, doing at least one nasty chore each day, smiling at the idiot who gets your simple straightforward who could possibly get it wrong order wrong. You get my drift.
- Take your brain to the bargaining table. Not in an adversarial, my-way-or-the-highway way. In a compassionate way. Beginning with some deep, slow calming breathing. Then thank that calculating part of you, the part I call your brain, for having your best interests at heart. Let it know you appreciate how hard it works for you. Now let that part of you that is in love with the impossibility your brain wishes to shoot down, show up. Ask your brain if it is willing to listen to what that part has to say. More breathing while it considers the request. When you get a sense of that calculating-brain part of you, I’ll say softening a bit, invite the part that loves your idea to express what it sees as the benefits of doing or having or being what looks impossible. Now ask your brain if it is willing to stand aside and make room for the possibility of the impossible happening. Offer it a job: ask it to help with breaking things that need to be done down into small, not so scary steps. You have now offered your heart and your brain a way to work together. It may occur that your brain part notices more impossibilities as your project develops. Let it know that you are always interested in what it wants to show you and promise it you will listen to its concerns so that you can come up with the best possible plan together. And get to Alaska if that’s what you want.