Thursday, October 27, 2011

Blogger Brain + Beginner's Mind

Blogging daily for the past month or so has been a really good time.  Creating something new everyday.  New ways of thinking about things.  Learning more than I can even believe.  I can barely keep up most days -- the ideas just keep coming fast and furious.  If only you could see my dining room table, it's covered with post-its of all colors and sizes, scribbled with different topics, ideas, quotes, websites to name it, it's showing up and it's all I can do to get it down on...

...what?  Yeah, I could take a picture of the table and show them.  What a good idea!  Why didn't I think of that??  (Because I'd have to get up off the couch, that's why!)  I'll be sure to write it on a post-it and save the idea for another day.  What color, what color...

So now you get what I mean.  Sharp, witty, amazing (!) ideas popping up at every moment...I can hardly keep a single train of thought.  Which is really not that big of a deal -- I am an expert multi-tasker after all -- but when it's time to slow down, time to relax and to reconnect, when it's time to meditate, I feel like a gerbil on speed.

Not that I'd know what that feels like...

The second I wake up in the morning, the ideas start coming.  I sit down to meditate and before I know it, my fifteen minutes have absolutely flown by.  Great, right?  Except I wasn't present for more than three or four of them.  My mind is flitting off to every which place, crafting the best sentence, coming up with the catchiest title.  Sure, I realize I'm off in neverneverland now and again and direct my attention back to the breath, but in a second my awareness scurries off somewhere else.  Sometimes, just sometimes, if the sentence I'm wordsmithing is particularly compelling, I don't even try to refocus.  I'm having too much fun!

Fun, yes.  There's a huge argument for fun.  Fun is a big part of what this blog is all about.  But after the fact, I'm keenly aware that I'm not getting the job done.  What good is meditation if there is no break from my thoughts?  What good does it do if my mind is running rampant?  Doesn't that put me back right where I started from?

Yes, and no.  I'm not back where I started -- my mind isn't the same as it was a year ago.  My relationship with it isn't the same as it was a year ago.  But I do need to go back to the beginning.

What do we do when we think we've reached a particular destination or milestone, when we think we've got it all figured out, when we've become familiar with doing things a certain way and then things (*gasp*) change?

Acceptance is allowing me to let go of what I thought my meditation practice was before Blogger Brain came calling and to open to the possibility of what it might be now that I'm honoring and meeting my new and different needs.  I'm still showing up morning and evening...that part sticks and is my priceless foundation.  Now?  I need to be patient.  My mind is back to romping like the restless puppy it was when I began daily meditation -- but this time, it's a black lab instead of a boxer.  The tools I need are those same ones that were useful the first time around.  Same training, different dog.  Instead of fighting my mind, instead of reprimanding it and growing tired of its meanderings, Beginner's Mind allows me to be the gentle, calmly assertive trainer who is well-versed in sharpening the mind's focus bit by bit to guide it back to the breath.  To life in my body.  To my experience of the moment.  Whatever my experience of the moment may be.

Sure, a full fifteen minutes of connection would be fantastic -- but the three or four I'm getting are way better than nothing at all.  Just show up, and let things unfold.  Just like before.

Blogger Brain is pushing the edges of my comfort zone, as do all valuable creative journeys we take in our lives.  What I know this time around is the importance of not getting stuck in my mind...I need a fully embodied experience, too.  There's a different level of balance that I need, that I think we all need when our energy is being expended in new and challenging ways.

Meditation is still the most valuable tool in my toolbox to date.  But I need to approach it from the place of the Beginner's Mind.  If we all can find a way to start over with ourselves when new challenges show up in our lives, we can approach our day-to-day life from a more centered place...even if we encounter moments when we can't seem to finish a t.h.o.u.g...h......t...//

What's For Dinner Tonight?
We're heading to the hills of the North Shore tomorrow, so eating things up is high on the list of priorities.  We didn't do much grocery shopping this week in anticipation of our adventure, so there wasn't much to do but Build Your Own Pizza...this time on the quickest and easiest crust -- flatbread!

There are a thousand kinds of flatbread available at any supermarket these days.  I like to use the Indian flatbread, Naan, from Whole Foods.  There are four pieces per package and I throw them in the freezer for nights like this.  Just pull one out, top it up and throw it in the oven at 400 for 10-12 minutes.  Quick, delicious and nutritious!  Well, depending on what you top it with, I guess.

My creation is homemade pesto sauce that I keep sealed in the fridge for just such a purpose, lots of chopped up spinach, the squash I roasted this past weekend, fresh leeks from the garden and shredded mozz. So incredibly good!

The olive oil in the pesto makes for some crispy edges on the crust -- I love the crispy edges!

Sweets dreams, my friends!  Next post will be -- if the technology gods are looking favorably upon me -- from the road.  Happy travels!

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