Recently I was faced with making a decision about someone and decided I needed to ponder the situation before doing so. I decided to “churn it” around, look at it from as many sides as I could to be able to make the best possible decision.
After that process, I made a different decision than was my first impulse. I came up with a simple saying that I can repeat when I need to stop and take a minute to “do it better.”
“Churn it, then turn it.”
Butter is made by churning sweet cream, moving it and churning it until the delicious butter separates from the cream. Like mulling something over in your mind, sometimes sleeping on it, giving your thoughts and observations time to mature. Like the process of churning butter, a certain amount of time is required. Stopping short of the required time will not result in a good product…bad butter is what you would have!
In any given situation, people may be trying to squeeze an answer or response out of you before you are ready because it would be more convenient for the other parties involved, but you can’t allow yourself to be forced to give your answer or response until you are ready…so buy some time by simply saying you are not ready to answer that yet. Or that you are still researching…or that you have made your maximum about of decisions for one day, or that you are doing something else at the moment, or that your dog has fleas…ANYTHING that will by you some time without offending.
So then what is your process? Depending on the situation, consider some of the following thoughts:
- This situation really has nothing to do with me, I just happened to be there.
- There is something else going on with this person that I don’t know about.
- The situation triggered something from their past that has nothing to do with me.
- There are some unseen pressures on the person that I don’t know about.
- They are really upset about something else that happened between us previously…and if I think about it, the situation may rise to the surface…like the butter.
- Perhaps it was something that I said with an emotion I wasn’t aware I was delivering. (I once said “whatever” to my brother, dismissing his thoughts…I wasn’t aware of it until he shared it with me the next morning).
- Perhaps (like the situation above) they were completely unaware of their effect on me, so I could gently share with them how I was affected.
So in churning around your thoughts, you are really looking at all sides, mixing it all up to better see what is really going on. THEN you can respond from the highest part of your self. Everything I do is to try to work with that highest part of myself…it is best for me and for everyone around me. So here is just another trick to stop you if you are about to have a knee jerk reaction to a situation.
Stop. Churn it, then turn it around…
Now go treat yourself to some toast with yummy butter, and perhaps some holiday jam! I know you have been thinking about it!
If you have a story to share about how you handled a situation with grace, please share it with me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Perhaps others could benefit from your wisdom!