Meditative Reflections: on settling an overactive mind

in SpiritWeb2 months ago

Over the last couple of years, since quitting full-time work, I seem to have got into a lot of habits that encourage an overactive mind.

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Part of this comes with the nature of the work I do - managing two blogs with a lot of diverse content, and doing some teaching on the side, but some of busy-mind habits are purely negative: mainly watching too much crap television, too many beers on a Friday or Saturday and dicking about on Hive (rather than just writing), all spring to (my overactive) mind.

There are positive sides to having an active mind, I've had plenty of 'big ideas' for writing themes which I enjoy and are going to keep me occupied intellectually for years into the future, and I like the idea of working towards big projects, that's actually quite mind-calming.

The problem is the negative busy-mind traits have been getting in the way of the positive busy-mind traits - meaning I spend too much time every week/ day hungover and incapable, idling in front of the T.V. and/ or dicking about on Hive (rather than concentrating on writing).

I think what I need to do is be more disciplined with myself and not cut out the negative traits all together, just be firm and put them in a 'time box' and only allow myself to do them for a very limited amount of time each day.

I'm also resolving to slowing my mind down by focusing more on 'one task at a time' - rather than flitting between different things and multiscreening.

The problem I've got is that I've said this to myself time and time again for the past couple of years and never actually done it, so I guess this is just a statement of intent that I'm going to be harder on my undisciplined mind from now on.

Not only will I be doing less going forwards, so will my mind!

Of course this is easier said (or thought about) than done!

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I know that feeling! I'm looking forward to getting back to base and ditching the smartphone, going back to laptop and a hot spot only. I found that making vids is less time consuming too 😂

Well, no time like the Now!

Hey not a bad idea - anti mobile internet! And free too I guess with hot spots!

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Very tempted! Someone gave me a router that accepts sim cards not long ago

Oh that's interesting - I never realised there was such a thing,

Although I wouldn't give mine up - it's too useful, a back up computer effectively!

I also tried doing one task at the time and it worked so well but I fell back into the trap of multitasking.

Having a clear space like that on the picture, with no distractions around must be nice for meditation. I'm guessing you're in the process of clearing out the house for rent?

Yes a clear space is nice - I am clearing the house but tbh I have a lot of boxes in the room now - that picture from a few weeks back!

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thanks for the continue inspiration! my practice has taken a back seat lately and i really miss it, feel it.. and NEED IT.. <3

discipline, balance. GOT IT! xx

I can completely understand why - when there's so much going on in your life that's exciting, it's hard to just sit once a day!

I'd be the same I'm sure.

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I bought myself a nice bike and do something different as "thinking about my projects" as you have to watch and react on the track as I drive mainly in the forest on small trails.

A lot of fun, good to move the body and relax the mind from THAT WORK!

But don't squeeze your brain to much into production mode - it needs the chaos as well. At least my beery one.

Here is !BEER for you and one for your brain

Hey a bike ride is great advice!

I do get out running which is good for me, I could probably do with more of that sort of thing!

Cheers for the beer!

The speed of the bike need a bit more or other concentration as running.
Give it a try!


Hey @revisesociology, here is a little bit of BEER from @detlev for you. Enjoy it!

Learn how to earn FREE BEER each day by staking your BEER.

I completely relate.
Although I've struggled with much more in past, recently I've been much more productive than I've ever been, and yet that feeling of not doing enough can still creep up on me.. Its hard finding a balance between being productive i.e. Things that require more energy (mental or physical) and "fun" i.e. escapism (usually), things that require less energy.

I guess it's tough because it's a moving target... Some periods I'm much more productive, and find it much easier to 'get going', and other times, I just don't have the energy, and spend most of the day "wasting time"..

I saw a nice little vid recently, about a programmer who was struggling with the same problem. He got addicted to a phone click game, and was waisting most of his time on it. So he decided, to try and hack the game. During the experience, he learned new skills and by the end, he ruined the game for himself since he could now cheat, and he stopped playing.
But he said something very interesting that resonated with me.
When we do take the time to "have fun/be unproductive" it's important at least to enjoy it. To truly rest, shut off and relax, just being entertained can be healthy too. When I find myself watching crap, and feeling guilty while I'm doing it, it's the worst...

Best of luck with your efforts, and look forward to enjoying their fruits.

Very wise words at the end there!

It is easier I find to throw yourself into big projects but yr right.... one does need time off!

That's one advantage I've always found about being drunk then hungover... you can't do anything other than zone out!

What I'd like is a flexible mind - happy to focus om anything at a moment's notice and for however long it takes!

I've been idling in front of the snooker this afternoon - I have this theory snooker players must end up with the calmest minds - so much intense focus for so long.

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I feel the same way about professional Go players.
I think, in the eyes of the Dao, there should be no problem to enter a complete state of focus, and in an instant be able to shut it off, and have no thoughts invade your head space.
Seems down right impossible to me, but that's what I mean by gaining control of my mind,being able to use it for whatever o need whenever I need.
I myself am less of a boozer more a smoker (wacky tabacky), but the same blissful mindlessness comforts me in hours of mental over clocking..
Hope we both get some work done, so we can get some well deserved rest...

I've never played 'Go' you know, so couldn't comment!

Beer's always been my thing, I think that must be genetic TBH. Whatever clicks I guess.

I think I'm going to focus on resting, more than working in the future you know!

In a way that's why I got really into knitting - you automatically concentrate on what you're doing. On the other hand, parts of your brain remain free to work out stuff (depending on how complicated your knitting is). But even with what is basically multitasking, you calm down.

And if afterwards you have a pair of socks to warm your feet - win-win ;)

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Knitting - ah yes a wonderful meditative activity - I did try it once - I knitted what is best descbribed as a thing - never learnt to cast off - something to come back to at some point!

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Being negative isn't necessarily a bad thing. You equate doing something unconstructive as being wrong. When you sleep, your body is undoubtedly unconstructive as you're not writing or focusing on one thing.

In the military, I went through the first of my burnouts after memorizing hundreds of pages of texts on different topics and at different times as part of my coursework. I will admit I was quite non-busy for a couple of weeks after my graduation. Looking back, it was my body's way of telling me I pushed things too far.

I think you're okay, and you're working your way back to your current state of production. Good for you, man. I look forward to more of your work despite any negativity.

Oh don't get me wrong, I have plenty of nonconstructive time!

I think learning material in the military is taking things to another level!