For eight years I sought to understand a mystery disease, fight my burnout, and control my chaotic life. Battling a misdiagnosed illness, I spent many hours on medical websites researching and reading in addition to working and being a new mom. Every waking moment I focused on figuring out how to get better. I saw many Western and Eastern doctors, Shamans and Reiki Masters. I tried herbs, supplements, and prescribed pharmaceuticals. I experimented with infrared saunas, colon hydro-therapy, and IV treatment, and wiped out my 401K looking for the solution.
When nothing worked, I became frustrated. I didn't have any answers, my life was on hold, and I couldn't control my healing process. Discouragement and fear of never being well fueled depression. One night, aiming to escape my worries, I poured a glass of wine and curled up on a chaise in my backyard. My mind raced with negative, catastrophic thoughts. Tears rolled down my face as I yelled profanities into the wind. Then, light from the setting sun caught the edge of a spider web hung between two bushes.
"I spy a spider web," I said out loud. My inner dialogue ceased as I stared at the web. Continuing the game, I observed the web. It transformed into different things.
"I spy heartstrings. I spy silly string. I spy a bridge." As I played this game there was a shift. Calmness and peace replaced the turmoil. I had entered a conscious meditative state.
The next day, driving to work I reached for my phone. Awareness struck me. Why did I always need to be busy and talk to someone when I was alone? Was I afraid to be alone with my thoughts? Was I afraid of the silence? Was I afraid of being conscious? Deciding to try being in the moment, I fought swirling worries. Then, I allowed the silence to envelope me. As I did this, I again felt a shift. I decided to experiment and play I Spy to see what I could discover.
As I drove by an ice covered lake I said, "I spy crystals." Then, I noticed a Golden Eagle, an oak tree, and a tire swing. "I spy an eagle. I spy a tree, I spy a tire swing." Playing I Spy opened up an entire new world! For years I had a created a pattern of being an unconscious zombie on my commute. Either preoccupied by inner chatter or on the phone, I was never aware of my surroundings.
That evening I continued the game. The goal was to find something new on every road trip. I realized I had been passing a goat farm each time and never noticed it. The array of different colors within a stone wall, a beautiful house transformed from a church, I'd missed them all before.
Playing I Spy put me in the present moment. It allowed me to start from a place of peace instead of fear. As this shift occurred I was able to access my intuition and listen to the messages from my body. I had to stop looking for direction, looking for answers, and looking for an explanation, and start seeing and listening. This is how my healing process started.
We tend to be caught up in our stressful worlds of information overload, slaves to electronic devices. Glued to our computers, tablets, and mobile phones we become numb to ourselves and the world around us. I discovered there was so much beauty around me. All I had to do was pay attention. Focusing on the scenery allowed me to hear what was going on inside.
I want you to take the I Spy Challenge. Whether you live in the city or country, are a stressed out corporate employee or entrepreneur, are an overwhelmed parent or student, play I Spy. It will help you make the shift from overloaded inner chatter to peaceful awareness. I Spy is playtime. It is simple and creative. It is in this mental space where you can start to access your intuition and create new ideas.
The only rules are to observe and play without judgement. When you play focus on your surroundings. Look at things from different angles. I believe you will experience a shift. If you take a break from mental planning, answers will come. We find solutions when we still our minds because they are there, they are always within us.