Dear Members of the Wisdom Circle,
Out on the pier today I observed a toddler interacting with his parents. The little family brought to mind this story and a problem-solving lesson I learned from a toddler years ago.
“A toddler was given a huge plastic jar with the lid screwed on tight. We’ll call him Toddler E., and he seemed perplexed… but not discouraged at all. He attempted to unscrew the jar while his father held it for him. Then he brought the jar over to me. When a toddler hands you something it is a sign that the child trusts you. ‘You’re asking me to hold the jar?’ I inquired. As I held the jar Toddler E. made another attempt to turn the lid. ‘You’re trying to open the top. It’s hard to open.’ I then touched the side of the lid that faced me with my thumb, loosening it the teeniest bit. When Toddler E. tried again, he was able to unscrew the lid and open the jar. He flashed me a look, and I said with a smile, ‘You opened it.’ A few moments later Toddler E. put the lid back on and opened the jar on his own again.” My version of this true story is based on an article I read here.
What do you take from this lesson?
An unconventional approach to grown-up problem-solving, I’ll grant you. So let’s see whether this approach holds water. Let’s say you are experiencing a problem or you feel there is an obstacle in the way. You want to know what’s in the jar, or you want to HAVE what’s in the jar, so to speak. What would a toddler do? (W.W.A.T.D.?) Well, in our story the toddler finds a trusted source of support and gains empowerment from that interaction. As grown-ups we seek advice and support from a trusted source, too. I can say that I have seen a strong parallel between problem-solving toddler-style and my soul-level work with other people. In my practice I am often the “trusted source.”
Today I want to point out a deeper source that I believe is available to us all. In the story, the toddler discovers a New Source to trust. Did you spot it? “A few moments later Toddler E. put the lid back on and opened the jar on his own again.” Even at this early age, Toddler E. is learning to rely on and trust himself as a Source.
I am not saying this is some earth-shattering new approach, but what I AM saying is it is good to try a simple tool once in awhile, one that won’t cut off a finger or two! (low risk!)
I encourage you to take this lesson into life today. What is one small way you can design a desired outcome, or at least open the jar a bit? Think small. Just take the first step, but be the Source! Trust yourself, and then try the next step. If for some reason you’re not feelin’ the result, you can ALWAYS ask for help!
I have a client who wanted to write a play. She wanted to write a play for ten long years. Her obstacles were, lousy spelling, lack of time and guilt over the attention it would take away from her family. We kept it simple. I helped, simply by asking a question (loosening the lid) “What is one small thing you can do that gets you even incrementally closer to your goal?” Itty bitty. “Well,” she thought, accessing her inner resources, “I can write for seven minutes while I wait for the water to boil and the tea to steep.”
If you enjoyed The Wisdom today and it gives you some hope, I suggest you consider our new powerful but slow and gentle life-change course, Robin Rice’s “Training Your Inner Warrior.”
Thank you for reading. Let me know if I can be of assistance. Find me in The Advanced Wisdom Academy along with other fine reSources!
All the Best,