I've been playing Tetris a lot lately. It's a simple game concept that activates the logic parts of my brain. This is a great relief as I spend 90% of my life in emotion and it can be exhausting at times.
During a recent game, a thought occurred to me. Any time I begin to panic and try to force pieces into spaces they are ill suited for, disaster almost invariably follows. Open spaces pile up faster, causing my panic to surge, and soon I've lost.
The opposite is also true. When I approach the game calmly, and take the time to look for and find the best possible place for the piece, even if it doesn't solve the most pressing “problem” space, I get much further in the game.
There is also an element of trust involved. The times I get furthest in the game are when I relinquish the panic, and simply trust the piece I need will arrive long before I lose. It always does, unless I surrender to panic and try to force things.
In a way I can't support with science, I feel this is a metaphor for life. When I try and force things that don't fit well, I don't get far. When I relax, trusting that what I need will appear, and that I will be able to recognize and use it when it does, it often does happens.
I've found I sometimes need to wait much, much longer than is comfortable or than I ever planned. However, forcing something that isn't right has never resulted in happiness for me.
This does not mean there is no work involved. It takes a tremendous amount of energy, for me, to wait, to look for, and fit things in where they really work.
This metaphor also applies to coaching. My teleclass leaders all say the best work is done when the coach relaxes, lets go of the outcome, and trusts the process of coaching. When I do this, it feels just like play, and my client and I are on an exciting adventure together.
Though a simple game, a simple concept, it is by no means easy, particularly when the pieces, and life, come at us faster and faster. The choice, however, is always ours to make.*
What could you accomplish, if you relaxed?
*Footnote: Mental illnesses, such as anxiety, are the result of chemical imbalances in the brain and are no more in the control of the sufferer than a broken limb. Choice can only be achieved when brain chemistry is brought back into health and balance.