Creative problem solving

We all have times where we have to make big decisions or have a problem to solve, perhaps you have one you are thinking about at the moment?

A labyrinth is an ancient practice that is used for meditation but can also be used for decision making. The first step is to draw a simple labyrinth on paper that you can use to help with your decision making. In this video there is a smaller labyrinth or two minutes into the video instructions for a larger labyrinth. Draw one or both of these.

Once you have your labyrinth on paper you can then start using it in your decision making. In this video Deacon Merry takes us through how you walk the labyrinth:

Method for smaller labyrinth

  1. ‘Walk’ the labyrinth a couple of times to start with. Pause at the entrance and the centre of the labyrinth as you run your finger along the path going inwards and then outwards.
  2. Now you are familiar with the labyrinth take a moment with your finger at the entrance to think about the problem you need help with or the decision you need to make.
  3. Then start to ‘walk’ the labyrinth, don’t focus on the problem but let the gentle movement and pausing gradually work on the problem.
  4. Walk the labyrinth a few more times thinking about the different factors that make up this problem. This could be the people, emotions, money that are involved in this problem or decision.
  5. An answer or some clarity may not come straight away, some poeple find it takes a few days for this meditative process to have an impact; but hopefully the process of gentle consideration using this technique will help you reach a clearer understanding.

Method for larger labyrinth

  1. Having drawn the larger labyrinth from the video above. Label each path going in a different aspect of the problem:

Path 1 – Physical aspects (geography for example, or the house you live in if that is relevant);
Path 2 – Social aspects (the people involved and their relationships, or the organisation itself);
Path 3 – Emotional aspects (what you feel about the situation, e.g. what you hope or fear);
Path 4 – Mental aspects (the challenge or thinking that you need to do); Path 5 – Spiritual aspects (the resting/deepening place, prayer, reflection)
Path 6 – Vision (being open to bigger picture insights)
Path 7 – Reflection (reflect on and ask for guidance from God or a higher power before reaching the centre)

This technique involves holding the problem or decision in your mind and then at each turning point switching your focus to a different aspect of the problem/decision. Starting with Physical and finishing with Reflection. Then do the opposite as you walk out.

This technique does not suit everyone so give it a few trys before deciding it isn’t for you.

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