“Find the thought which is your great oppressor; find the King-Pin. In the logging camps in the Spring, the logs are sent down the rivers in great numbers. Sometimes the logs become crossed and cause a jam; the men look for the log causing the jam (they call it the King-Pin), straighten it, and the logs rush down the river again.”~Florence Scovell Shinn
I believe the lumberjacks and Ms. Shinn have much to teach us! Doing the work, paying attention to my thoughts and the life I am creating around me, one moment at a time, has allowed me to see what needs to be done. If you are not used to doing this, you can start by paying more attention to your emotions when they arise. They will point the way to your King-Pin.
I rarely know in advance the way forward. I just know within every challenge lay the answer and I have practiced this enough that I Trust the answer will be given. But I had to do the work of becoming aware!
Like when I am painting – it is not just me making a painting, Gravity & Grace have their say as well. I can mix the colors, but once I pour them down no amount of experience can perfectly direct their blending. Gravity takes it from here. I work from reference photos so I can see the lights and shadows. But at some point when my known references no longer serve I just need to sit with it and let the painting tell me what it needs. It has become it’s own set of new circumstances because this particular painting is a totally new creation. Perhaps this is why I am always surprised by my own work…I NEVER know ahead of time HOW to solve a painting dilemma (one I created for myself – by the way!) Yes, that is correct, I regularly and willingly go into my paintings uncertain and not knowing…Gasp!
Knowing the answers to our problems is never our job. We are not supposed to have all the answers. And thinking we should is a problem in itself. Our greatest and most easily surmountable challenge is coming up with a detailed laser-like question to which we are seeking an answer. It has been my experience this is when clarity, relief, and guidance are born. This is when Grace takes over.
It is within my daily practice of Silence I breathe and let go and breath and let go and just listen. This too is a challenge for the beginner, it was for me, but over time I have come to look forward to not thinking, not reasoning, not planning, not worrying. Just sitting and listening. Paying attention to the silence within.
I know it may not make sense to you right now, but I invite you to lean into the idea that you do not have to struggle anymore. Commit to testing out this idea. With enough listening practice you may be amazed by your own results. Become aware of your “King-Pin”, ask for relief, then let go. Allow Gravity & Grace to do their job by simply sitting and listening. You are not alone, solutions are within reach, and you don’t have to do this life thing all by yourself. I have repeatedly experienced proof of this!
What is hardest for you to believe about this method of problem solving?
Tag. You’re It!
Artwork: Sarah of the Lakes, 9×12 watercolor by Lani Chaves