I’m going through a period of fairly intense (for me) personal realisation and change at the moment, mostly connected with things that have been brought up and changed as part of the course I’m on where we practise the techniques on each other. I’ll do another blog post detailing some of that later, but part of it has got me thinking about how I think (deep huh?!).
By saying my thoughts are like lightning bolts, I don’t mean that they strike suddenly or set things alight or destroy things (although all those have happened in the past!); I more mean that, from a single starting point, they will branch and branch and branch until they make a ‘hit’, or sometimes multiple hits. It’s something I’m so used to that, although on some level I knew that not everybody thinks in the same way, I’m only just beginning to really understand that, and finding it fascinating learning the other ways that it is possible to think.
An example of how I think:
Give me the word “toast” and I’ll probably go down what I’d consider a fairly normal route of associating that with bread, jam, butter, toaster. Then what might pop up is that toast could also mean raising a glass to something – such as “a toast to the bride and groom”. But it doesn’t stop there. A few seconds later I might be considering what elements clay is made up of (toast -> plate -> china -> clay) and a few seconds after that I might be thinking about the toxins of the blue-ringed octopus (I made a clock in art lessons at school out of clay with the main part being an octopus) and then puffer fish (also toxic) and then wondering if I need to water my roses (I have a dried puffer fish, it’s spiky, so are my roses). So toast to roses via octopuses. Very normal, for me.
An actual example from a few weeks ago when driving in the car with a friend:
We were stuck in traffic and she pointed out a nearby car, commenting “nice car”. My immediate reaction was “I’d pick a different colour, but yeah not bad.” I then thoroughly confused her by wondering out loud whether the driver was a fan of the Die Hard films – simply because the registration plate was YK11 YAY (close enough to ‘yippee ki yay’ to trigger off that line of thought!).
It’s all stuff that I don’t think about thinking – it just happens. It has been really interesting recently to have discussions with people that think in a far more black and white manner. They’ve caused me to stop and think about how I think and how my way of thinking can be quite alien to that kind of mindset and allowed me to think of ways that I can present my thoughts in a manner that is less threatening to their world view, and so likely to get a more positive reaction. Neither way is right or wrong, they’re just different, and both valuable – they can often see and describe things in a much clearer fashion than I can because I’m thinking so many different things at once that it all blurs together – but I can then highlight areas which could be a compromise between the extremes, but acceptable to both ends because of connecting things in perhaps slightly unusual ways.
And I can’t wait to learn more!