health: When bogged down, try a bird's eye view
Yesterday a client was telling me about her newfound ability to triage a situation before she reacts to it. She shared that she is able to see work, family and friendship dynamics in play.
This means that she can take 'a bird's eye view' of troubling situations, which buys her some time to dope out the situation before she reacts. With this skill, she can figure out a good approximation of what is really going on, plan how she wants to react, and what she wants to say in any given situation.
As I sat there listening, I felt so happy for her. She has worked very hard to acquire this new skill. We talked about how having a 'bird's eye view' of situations is one of the cornerstones to emotional freedom.
Emotional reactivity, or as my mom used to say, "Acting before you think," takes you down the slippery slope of blame, shame and regret. Unbridled emotional reactivity is about as productive as asking a toddler to clean her room.
So the next time you feel your blood boil or your brain scream negatives or feel yourself want to shrink into a LEGOLAND version of yourself to avoid hostility or responsibility, take a deep breath, go for a walk, do anything to sooth your lizard brain back into its cave. Then take a good look around at the landscape of the dynamics of the situation from an outside perspective or a 'bird's eye view'.
You will be pleased to discover that a lot of what is going on can be attributed to forces outside of you, another person's issues or a situation beyond your control. Take responsibility for your portion only and do what needs to be done to make that right.
Let other people have their process — don't own another's person's issues or try to fix them, and you will be well on your way to emotional freedom.
What do you think of using a bird's eye view in difficult situations?