Sideways Time

by Richard Lister, Coach and Mentor
Coaching to Thrive

Logic drives me like a wasp.  A wasp can’t bend the window glass and I can’t shift this charity.  Time to slip sideways. 

I head out and ease into the rhythm of walking.  At the top of the hill I catch sight of a kestrel, our smallest bird of prey.  It’s hanging in the air, hardly moving, held up by the breeze.

As I ponder the kestrel I am reminded of the verse: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD Almighty’ Zechariah 4v6.  I rethink my approach: less slog, more nudging allies and being nudged.  When did this sideways thought come?

When I’d moved.  Alain de Botton says:

‘Journeys are the midwives of thought .. . There is an almost quaint correlation between what is in front of our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, new thoughts new places. 

Introspective reflections which are liable to stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape.

The mind may be reluctant to think properly when thinking is all it is supposed to do.  The task can be as paralyzing as having to tell a joke or mimic an accent on demand.  Thinking improves when parts of the mind are given other tasks, are charged with listening to music or following a line of trees.’  (The Art of Travel).

Where might you need to go to get a larger, smaller or unusual perspective?  Or what other activity may prompt a sideways thought?

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