Sometimes you find yourself in a state where you have neither the energy nor the desire to move your arm. There may be a queue of urgent matters in the diary or an important problem flickering in neon. But it is absolutely impossible to move you. Psyche hangs a categorical sign: “Gone to the base” in the style of saleswomen in the USSR. To get out of such a stalemate, I have several lock-picking strategies.
One of them is to look for the don’t-know-what out there. I glide my consciousness melancholically through the waves of environmental stimuli. Watching passersby in the window, listening to various podcast interviews, wandering around town, or going through the internet stash of illustrations, paintings, and photographs. The goal is to get into contact with the circle of life as much as I can. Sooner or later there will be a loop that will catch the hook of my interest.
After all, our loneliness, emptiness, and separation from the world are an illusion of the mind. Without a constant exchange with the environment, we would simply not exist. Philosopher and psychotherapist Eugene Gendlin wrote that the process of interaction is primary and nothing would make sense without it. For example, lungs without air. Once the “coupling” of the loop with the hook has occurred, the energy to live begins to reside, just as fuel fills the tank of an airplane during aerial refueling.
Of course, at the heart of the strategy is the belief that the missing puzzle in my picture is bound to be there somewhere. It’s a basic trust in the richness and bounty of the world. But it is also a trust in myself, specifically my ability to recognize that puzzle at the right time in the right place.
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