Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Immediate Mind

As a runner, it would only be natural to share a metaphorical anecdote (can you use 'metaphor' as an adjective? Can those words be paired together as one noun? Probably not, but anyway...) about running - in relation to my thought process.

While running today, I decided that I was going to try not to think of anything - use a simple meditation to allow my eyes to see the woods that I was running through, my nose to smell the air, my lungs to take in breath regularly, and generally be present with a quiet mind.

I think I lasted a few minutes. Then, maybe 10 minutes later I realized that I'd started thinking, planning, calculating, and I missed the transition somehow. So I reign the beast in, tugging harshly on the leash of my giddy thought-tangent-puppies, and work on calming my mind once again. Suddenly I'm back, but this time I feel the switch. I am deeper in my body, my body feels more real, and I'm present.

The interesting thing: suddenly my lungs and body set off "I'm-not-going-to-last-as-long-as-I-just-thought-I-would!" and "Woah!-sudden-intensity-added-to-this-process" alarms.

Where this lead me is to an understanding of productivity. When I am present and focused in the moment, I am working hard and getting results. At this point my process also involves the increased work of constantly having to reign my mind in and remind myself, "you can be enjoying this more fully!". Regardless, when I accomplish something in this mindset, it is from a deeper place - a place of strength, power, and creativity. It is harder, and it should be.

What I accomplish when I'm scattered/busy/work-driven and in what I am going to call my "Immediate Mind" is excessive and seemingly productive, but shallow. I can think about meaningless scheduling, details, numbers, and sketch out ideas I don't follow through on, running for two miles without realizing it, but I'm not getting the same workout as I do when I begin thinking about something more powerful. Then my body is more fully engaged; I might run less of a distance, but the quality of my run has vastly improved.

Quality, not quantity - I can sum this entry up into those three words.

The word "quality" is quite amusing to me. In 6th grade I had a teacher who always was licking his lips. He must have had some sort of Dry Lip Syndrome or something, because every other word he was sticking out his big ol' tongue and circling it around the front of his face. And I'm not just talking about a dainty lip moisten. This was a face lapping.

And his favorite word to say to us - Quality.

It might have been his favorite word because he could do the face slobbering while saying the word at the same time: his tongue would emerge while saying the 'L'.

So anyway. I guess the tongue was distracting me from the validity of his respect for quality.

If it takes longer to gain knowledge and skill, so be it.  I'm going to find my creativity through re-learning patience.

I want to more consistently drink from a much deeper well.

Breathe Deeply

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