In just about every post on Monk at Work since its inception, I’ve presented ideas, problems, concepts, and scenarios, all about ways that people (i.e. you and me) can lose sight of our hearts as we work. I’ve also done my best to provide solutions, based on my years of experience as a spiritual and energetic healer, business consultant, and teacher.
Today, however, you’ll get none of that (or, very little). Instead, today is about questions. My questions.
Because yes, I still have them. I have questions all the time, about how to do things, what to say, what to create… I have way more questions than I’ll ever have time to find solutions to, no matter how intuitive I am.
Some questions are small, some are large. And some, like the one I’m dealing with right now, is huge. Gorilla-huge. Boulder-huge. Construction-equipment-huge. And as much as I don’t want to admit this to the question… I don’t have an answer for it.
But here’s the rub: When I get a question stuck in my mind that I can’t answer, it sits front and center in my consciousness, like a splinter under a toenail, unable to be ignored.
It’s rough; I can’t focus on any other work when a question sits in my mind like this. It’s like an insistent three-year-old, who just can’t understand, "not right now; can you see that Daddy’s trying to focus?" The question just keeps saying, "look, man… look at me. Look. Now. Hey, I’m talking to you. Pay attention to me. Hey. Look. Look at me, man, because I’m not going away until you do."
And so I look. And I listen. And I ask it what it wants, what the real question is. But the problem is, even when I hear the question, I have no answer for it. It’s not a question that can be answered right now, at least not with a meaningful answer.
But it doesn’t like that.
No answer is not an answer.
And so it waits, with all the patience of that three-year-old. Look. Look. Look. Look at me.
(How can I not look at you, you mean? How can I deny you, the spike in my forehead, the salt-and-lemon-juice-cocktail in the wound of my uncertainty?)
All normal thoughts of productivity go out the window in times like these. I’m forced to attempt patience, to pull all the stops out of my repertoire of self-healing techniques, and deny all my self-protective impulses that tell me to ignore it, cover it over, distract myself, and maybe, just maybe, it’ll go away on its own.
(Heck, why do you think I’m writing this — for glory? Goodness, no; hoping that writing would provide catharsis was my latest, best idea to bleed the pressure out of my mind, after a day spent tapping, talking, praying, pacing around my office, and soul-searching to the best of my ability…)
My last question — and this one’s for you:
What do you do in times like these? When you’re faced with a question, a decision, even one that isn’t formed enough that it has words yet, but you just know you have to change something… what do you do?
UPDATE: I just had to add this… my muse-of-writing, the Communicatrix, recently posted about her own travels into what I call "The Pit" — she calls it "The Black Hole." And her post also mentioned another by An Amateur’s Manifesto… both are outstanding. Highly recommended.
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Image by scottfeldstein on Flickr, via Creative Commons license.
And thanks to all those who commented on the previous posts so far: Matthew, Tom Volkar, Dylan