I sure miss it. “Before”, I had the ability to sort of shut my mind down. I could informally self meditate, sometimes with a little bit of effort, and sometimes I’d just slip into it. Lisa would often ask “what are you thinking about?” and I could honestly answer “nothing”.
I could reach this “empty” or perhaps it’s better to say “open” state in a variety of ways. Most of the time soaking in the tub would do the trick (when you have kids it one of the few places in your home where you will be left alone). I could get there actively listening to the right kind of music. When we went to church years ago I could often slip into this state during the sermon or in the silent mediation right afterwards.
I think this was an important thing for me. It was a way of being in the moment, undistracted. I think it made me better able to concentrate and stay on task when I was working on something. I think it just made me feel more centered and in touch with myself and the world around me.
I’ve recently come to realize I haven’t really been able to do this since Kevin died. I haven’t had a moment of quiet peace.
I can’t quiet my mind. It’s constantly buzzing, full of thoughts, many, perhaps most of which are trivial. When I walk and think my mind darts from subject to subject. I was trying to wrap myself around this topic today while walking when I passed a couple of Mormon Missionaries on the street. I didn’t really think much of them, politely nodding to their “How are you’s” but otherwise ignoring them. Maybe 5 minutes later they popped back into my head and I carried on a short internal dialogue about the nature of God and the suspension of disbelief; distraction.
I used to be able to work on a database development project for hours and suddenly look up and it was time to go home. Now the slightest interruption will pull me off task and I’m constantly fighting a battle to stay focused.
When I’m trying to relax and empty my mind it’s simply impossible. I feel like my mind is an AM radio, in a really crowded area, tuned in a way where it’s picking up 2 or 3 different stations at all times. Random thoughts jump into and out of my attention, but I can never seem to find any quiet.
I think one of the many reasons I chose to write is it’s a kind of forced concentration. I can’t really let my mind wander when I’m trying to form a coherent sentence. It provides me with a form of thought discipline.
I feel the need to get this part of me back. I need to quiet my mind. I believe the next book I tackle will be about meditation. I hope by formal practice I can find a moment of peaceful quiet to just be.