Photo by Pan Xiaozhen

Letting go

Do you know what is a real challenge for me? Knowing when to pause or stop. I can be very focused and persistent when solving a problem, and I find it uncomfortable to stop before I reach a solution.

If I am really honest with myself, I must admit that stepping away from the problem, taking a break, doing something totally different, can actually help me reach a solution faster than forcing my way through.

A few days ago, I was having issues debugging a piece of Javascript code that behaved strangely. Looking back, I spent way too much time bumping into a closed door before I was ready to admit that taking a break would be wiser. Maybe there would be other ways to approach this issue. It was the end of the day, maybe after a good night sleep, I would know where to look. Maybe even the solution would come from somebody else.

I know from experience that the best solutions to problems come to me in an unexpected way, and often not by sheer willpower. Rather by letting go. Letting go, however, is the most difficult thing to do. The not knowing, the surrendering to that uncomfortable feeling of no conclusion.

That is where and when I must practice mindfulness. Am I willing to feel that discomfort? To not push it away and work harder? Just feel it and be with it? Not knowing when the problem will be solved, or by whom.

The good thing about writing a blog about mindfulness is that it gives me an increased sense of accountability. I am aware of what I am doing, and the mistakes I make. I will practice, not only for me but for us.


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