Intense fog…just the other morning. Made me think of the inner fog I occasionally go through. Moments and even months when I find myself in a fog: confused, lacking clarity, anxious to move but afraid of making a step in the wrong direction. What do I do with this mental fog? The same things we all do in a real fog.
First, I become aware it is present and observe it with curiousity: “Look at this fog! Wow – intense…”
The fog we see outside of our window is surely more interesting and even pleasurable to look at than the experience of inner fog. But we can still stand back when we feel the mental mist and watch it dispassionately. A combination of things led to this fog – it is a necessary process that will eventually give way to a clear blue sky.
So the first step: acknowledge and be aware. The second step: know where you are going.
It is very difficult to get to a place you’ve never been during a heavy fog. Don’t rush into unfamiliar streets when it’s hard to read the street signs. Stick to the streets you know, the tried and tested, reliable routines that produce reliable results. The fog is just heavy mental RAM usage. It’s your mind trying to sort and process various and sometimes contradictory bits of information to (hopefully) arrive at a satisfactory decision. By sticking with the familiar, we lighten the load on our mental processes which, during foggy times, need all the capacity they can get. We should not stand still however, we have to keep moving – which brings me to my third point. How do you move in a fog?
Third step: Move slow.
No hasty turns and foot light on the gas pedal. Eyes ahead and alert. Slow down. Avoid rushing important decisions, avoid taking on large projects, avoid committing to new contracts. Wait patiently for the fog to settle before you pick up speed again. It is important that you continue to move. Standing still can make the fog and confusion worse. We need to occupy a part of our mind with movement. Mental and physical. Especially physical. But while the fog is heavy and the road unclear, move slow.
When the fog lifts and your mind shines with clarity – full speed ahead again boldly into the unknown – but only as long as you can see the road ahead.