Using Some Rules of Science to Navigate Our Daily Life

by | Jul 26, 2021 | Stress Management

Hello, Women & Women! We’re wrapping up the last week of July with this post and the FSW World is hopping. Research is commencing, the business is going to be taking a step into the unknown, and in my own world, things are already in the realm of uncertainty. I don’t even really know what’s going to happen next, to be honest.

And in the last few days, I’ve thought of something which will be a roundabout way of explaining how the last few weeks have gone. Spoiler alert if you haven’t seen the upcoming reference!

In the film The Martian, Mark Watney is naturally facing the horrors of horrors: living on a faraway planet by himself with limited resources and no buddy system. There’s a scene where he has survived so much already and he recognizes something. It’s one of my favorite quotes: “In the face of overwhelming odds, I’m left with only one option… I’m gonna have to science the shit out of this.”

Now, what does this quote have to do with anything relating to what’s happening in my world now? Oddly, more than I imagined. For the sake of simplifying this down, in the ages of science and its development, we have observation, inquiry, analysis, and knowledge-building. If you’d like to learn more about the general history of the scientific method, feel free to check out Stanford’s explanation here.

So, if I would observe my own life and be its witness to what’s happening… I’d say that I’m feeling a little stressed. Actually, quite stressed, to be honest. I’ve already brought up overwhelm before and at this stage, I’m at an interesting in-between with house hunting, a degree program, family needs, work, etc. Some things have become clearer simply with time and other situations feel unnerving.

What do you do, friends, with this in-between? Do you become patient, worried, observant, or something else that I’m not mentioning?

When tears welled up this morning over breakfast, I knew that I needed to find my pause. My respite. And my center. Funny enough, Mark Watney’s quote came to mind and I was curious why. I’m a humanist, historian, and socially-minded individual; definitely not a STEM trophy winner here.

So, like many of us do, I Google-d the scientific method after recalling the quote. While you can read up about its history from Stanford above, I appreciated this graphic because I tend to visualize things. National Geographic, thank you.

After marinating on it, I can see how this “cycle” of reflection (and subsequent method) may be more useful than my cycle of stress. It’s not to say that stress doesn’t occur and we don’t feel it; oh, we do. But when we think of some of these key steps–observation, experimentation, and reflecting on what we’ve observed–this reframe of experimentation and learning new things feels more powerful than, “Holy shit, what the Hell am I doing right now? Why do I feel like crying every four seconds? And what can I even offer to others since I’m all over the place right now?” Yes, overwhelm feels very real. And yes, we all have seasons of feeling it. FSW didn’t start because of perfection and you all offer so much to others because of all the aspects of who you are.

How to Shift Powerlessness with a Version of the Scientific Method

Perhaps, in a way, we can shift our feeling of being at a loss. I’m going to play with the order here and I’m going to Virginia-ize it, like a recipe or something.*

  1. Observe-Experiment-Reflect
  2. Experiment-Observe-Reflect-Redo
  3. React-Observe-Experiment-Reflect-Redo

Notice that using any of these three options means that you can be a witness to your life. Experiment after mindful reflection. Redo your days with intentionality and actions…

See the difference at all? And I’ll be the first to admit, my Human Element right now is not ready to let some disappointments go. The Virginia side is wanting to feel enlightened as Hell, but feels uncertain in the unknown. And while I can write here that “everything comes in its time,” it doesn’t necessarily make it easy to believe in my bones each and every day when facing some things.

So, what can we do? My approach the last 24 hours has been this: live and feel fully, be a witness, and take care of myself holistically (body, mind, soul), while I wait.

How does that feel to you? (Yes, waiting can be friggin’ hard.)

Self-forgiveness May Truly Be the First Step, Before the Others

I’ve noticed the last few days that getting mad at a lack of enlightenment, or a lack of clarity and peace, keeps my emotional spiral going. And, frankly, sometimes the spiral needs to just go and peter out eventually on its own. It’s been hard to “beat” perfectionism, expectations, and hopes, when facing tough situations. Even though I wrote about dropping the heavy in last week’s post, it’s easier to type than live out sometimes.

Perhaps, we can “science the shit out of” our life right now and think… “Well, that experiment didn’t work, but I’m observing what happened instead of it. I’ll wait for the results to show themselves.” Ok, Watney… You have a valid point, I guess.

My Life Chemistry set isn’t ready to complete itself yet. The goop is still cooking, apparently. What about yours? Where are you at with pivoting in life? Let’s take a minute and allow the space to feel, heal, and move forward in time. These concepts today aren’t exactly tips, like in other posts. Like any paradox, it is probably worth going deeper and seeing where stressors really lie. Where we can heal and help ourselves… And on the flip side, while we deeply hold ourselves in love and presence, there may be nothing to figure out right now other than patience as the Universe brings together the right network of variables in this whole experiment.

It can be hard, y’all, to be patient, but witnessing with love is a good first step for all of us. Speaking of, if you ever need a witness and encouragement, FSW is here for you 100%. If you want to join the Circle, here’s that link; if you’d like to take the FSW Quiz, here’s where you start that. Also, if you’d like to comment below about this post or others, feel free. Or, if you’d rather contact me 1:1 privately, here’s the way to do it. Regardless of how you want to connect, I’m here for you, walking this journey with you every step!

*Note: For all my science womxn out there, thanks for being patient with my twist on the scientific method. /:D

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