Mindful Musings: Navigating Our Thinking to Be Present and Get Inspired

We all tend to become lost in our thoughts and worries. Our minds wander to the past and future, leaving us disconnected from the present moment. However, if we wish to lead fulfilling lives, it is imperative that we learn to be present at the moment. If you’re like me who’s spent what seems like a lifetime overthinking, analyzing, and being a perfectionist, allow me to share with you some of my thoughts on how finally let go and just be.
A book that truly inspired me that I wish I read early in my entrepreneurial journey is “Slowing Down to the Speed of Life” by Carlson and Bailey. This book not only helped me become more present but taught me how to master my mind and energy by navigating my thinking. In this book, the authors emphasize that there are two distinct forms of thinking, the analytical processing mode, and the reflective free-flowing mode.

What’s the difference?

In the processing mode, our thoughts are more effortful, active, linear, habitual, and predictable to name a few. On the contrary, the reflective mode is easy, passive, nonlinear, creative, and spontaneous.
Both of these modes serve a very important purpose but there is a time and place for each. Knowing when to use each of these modes of thinking is what’s going to transform our lives.
Because of the way society was built where we prioritize school and work, we’ve been conditioned to stay in the processing mode, and over time we’ve developed the habit of staying there long after we’re finished school or work. Processing mode is best used when doing analytical thinking such as math, etc. However, we need to get back into the habit of consistently being in reflective mode. When we are in reflective mode we slow down, we feel calm and we allow creativity and inspiration to come to us naturally.
woman in white bath tub be present

So when should we use free-flowing mode?

You’d be surprised to find out that most of the time we work best when in free-flowing mode. This model is the place where most inventors, artists, scientists, and so many people get their best ideas. Think of when you’re taking a walk and deeply focused on a painting. You’re in free-flowing mode. You lose the concept of time and place and you just are. Realizing that you can access this place without having to focus on anything but simply just being is one the key point to learning how to navigate your thinking so you can easily navigate between the processing and the reflective mode.
An example the author described that can better help you understand the benefits of being in the free flow is described below:
When a major league batter is ‘on’ his game, when he feels ‘in the zone,’ the pitched ball appears to be coming at him in slow motion. In actuality, of course, the ball is zooming toward him, often at speeds of over a hundred miles per hour! The facts don’t change. What changes his perception, which in turn increases his confidence in his ability? To him, the ball looks like it is going slower, so hitting the ball seems easy in the free-flowing mode.

Practice makes perfect

When you practice free-flow thinking more and get more comfortable with it, it becomes more intuitive. You can easily apply this form of thinking to your work to allow you to work smarter and more creatively.
If you are someone who struggles with consistently being in the processing mode, here are four tips on getting back to the reflective mode:
Slowing down to the speed of life is all about living in the moment.
And there are four main strategies to achieve this:
  1. Listening without interpreting and/or (dis)agreeing. Be fully present, relaxed, aware, and unbiased.
  2. Accepting the fact that, more often than not, you don’t know the answer to things and that’s okay. You don’t have to know the answer right away. Instead, allow the answer to come to you.
  3. Having faith in the free-flowing mode; trust that your free-flowing mode will guide you and surrender to the moment.
  4. Putting your problems on the back burner and leaving them to cook out a solution for you.
 If you are interested in reading the book and learning how to navigate your thinking, you can purchase it here. 


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Meet Kenia

Meet Kenia

I'm a wellness enthusiast on a mission to inspire and guide you towards your own version of paradise on earth through self-mastery, faith, travel, and wellness practices.


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