It would be hard to tell if you had an intolerance to a food group if your body were constantly in pain from indigestion as you overfed it. Common sense tells us to leave a gap in-between meals for us to digest our food properly. We listen to our bodies and acknowledge if something felt bad or not (even if we still choose to scoff it anyway!). If you were in the gym every day, it would be hard to tell the difference between a sore muscle aching from the day before or doing something slightly wrong and doing yourself damage, slowly but surely. Common sense tell most of us that we should watch what we do as we exercise and allow for rest days in-between gym sessions to allow our muscles to repair. Common sense tells us to take it easy when we feel ill so we can recuperate properly from whatever threw us off balance and out of active life.
So how and why do we expect to consistently and endlessly think clearly, to always see the difference between clear, unfettered thought and that which is just a brain loop we have established or a tolerance to a certain level of painful, unhealthy thoughts that no longer serve? We have phrases like ‘over-intellectualizing’ or over-dramatizing’ things but we all do it and don’t ever think about what it means we are doing to our brains. It is amazing to see how many people wear the badge of non-stop life with pride; to see how many people cannot sit still without fiddling with something to occupy that brain space. It’s amazing how many people speak without thought and think that this is just how it is, when common sense would tell us otherwise.
One of the best things that happened to me last year was at work. I was given an additional role to hold down. It was one of the most pressured, frantic, stressful jobs on the floor. And knowing this, I decided to carve a window for myself each day to survive. So I set my alarm earlier and started to do yoga. And, after yoga, I soon got inspired to add on 10 minutes of meditation. 10 minutes to sit still and do nothing. 10 minutes to actively opt out and be with myself, for myself. Not texting, not checking in on my global family, not zoning out in front of television, not escaping into books. Just being.
Now it’s a routine. Now I start each day doing something for myself for 10-20 minutes, not for my career nor for my financials, not for my loved ones – but it affects each and every one aspect of my life happily each day. For each day, I have made sure I’ve found a peaceful window through the chaos, glimpses of silence in the cacophony and of myself beyond the mirror and the chatter. It’s called mindfulness and it means allowing your brain to find space each day.
I haven’t mastered meditation (if such a thing is possible). I still have moments of sitting still then veering off to work out what to wear or going through a ‘to do’ list, no matter how quiet I ask to be. But I still feel the benefits. I feel my brain can tell the difference between constructive thought and mindless chatter better, that I can discern between something I really need to react to or old habitual responses better. I find myself slowly better at explaining my emotions over surfing each wave as it hits. I feel I am getting better at finding space to digest thoughts, stretch feelings and recuperate from waves of emotions.
So, as this video prompted this blog, may you too find it interesting.