Have you ever gotten close to solving a problem or making a strategic decision, and just waited? Slept on it--maybe for more than one night--and found the solution staring you in the face when you came back to it?
Author Wayne Muller relates a conversation with physicist Hans-Peter Durr about Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg. In the midst of "long, impassioned discussions . . . working together on a particular problem" Heisenberg would say, "'Wait, I think we have touched something very important here. Let's not talk about it any more. Let's wait for two weeks, and let it solve itself.'" Durr explained that, after letting the problem rest a while, "it would invariably be solved."
That story is in a book about Sabbath, a time of rest that is usually associated with religion. But Muller's analysis fits many other settings, including work. "If we take a day and rest," Muller writes, "we cultivate . . . this quality of not knowing, an open receptivity of mind essential for allowing things to speak to us from where they are."
Muller reminds us that often "the wisdom, courage, and clarity we need are already embedded in creation. The solution is already alive in the problem."
Next time you feel yourself struggling to solve a problem, or wrestling mightily with a decision, try being still for a time. See what unfolds. You are likely to be surprised.