“Who is in charge of this?” he said, pointing to his head and looking at me directly in the eyes. OUCH. I think he just nailed it.
Who is in charge of my head??? It should be obvious, "I AM", but quite frankly, I don't know who has been steering the ship lately. The kids are home for the summer which means I am less structured, but also busier tending to needs, breaking up fights, rushing off to doctor appointments etc. When there is downtime, my favorite hobby is letting my brain bounce all over the place. My best visual for this is when I go online to look something up, maybe something as mundane as a phone number. Next thing I know I have opened up web pages on summer vacation ideas, recipes to make for dinner, recipes to save for later, project ideas to do with the kids, Facebook and three of my email accounts. So the screen shows all these tabs activated. I only use the computer as a description, because my brain actually has many more tabs activated than the computer. After being "on" all day it feels good to let my brain just drift and wander, but that question WHO IS IN CHARGE OF THIS, hit me hard.
I am in charge of it and no matter how good it feels to unwind this way at the end of the day it isn't getting me anywhere. In fact, it is adding to the feeling of chaos because I've just added a million things to my mental list. My goal is a more intentional life and this mindlessness is in direct opposition to my desires. Summertime is a rare opportunity to have this sort of break and down time and I will never have another summer quite like this one. Understanding is the first step to making a change and getting back to my wellness basics will help me strengthen the muscles that help me live more intentionally. I consider my wellness basics to be quite simply mindfulness. Instead of letting my mind wander, I need to strengthen the ability to keep my mind calm. It's strange that it takes more energy to think nothing, but if you have ever tried you know it isn't easy. The thing is that whether you sit in centering prayer or silence just listening to your breathing, the act helps to slow down the chaos of the day.
It is hard to see how one act can affect the other, isn't it? How does a few minutes of meditation in the morning make my busy day of appointments any easier? There are many books on this and many explanations, but let's just try seeing how it works for us and maybe the explanation won't really matter. There are many forms of quieting the mind and we'll be exploring them here at ZenDitty in the next few weeks. For now, enjoy your summer, don't change anything, just observe "Who is in Charge?" and check back in to ZenDitty so we can continue to work this muscle and live intentionally and with great joy.
*I love this app for meditation or yoga. Think fitbit for meditation and connect with me @ZenDitty! The app is "Insight Timer" available for both Android and IOS.