Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I think I'm alone now...

I am having trouble writing this posting. It's because I'm multi-tasking. I can't quite focus. There's a gazillion things going on. I've got multiple windows open, a dozen chats happening, Facebook, Twitter, music and TV on in the background. My attention is all over the place. How has my head not exploded yet?

I've heard that's the "Internet Generation", simultaneously overstimulated AND bored. Too much happening, everything vying for attention, yet nothing being able to hold it for long enough.

I've noticed I've become a lot more ADD since I started my current job. Demands coming from all over has spread my ability to pay attention thin. And I don't like it. There's a time and place for multi-tasking, just like there's a value to single-tasking.

Which is why it was a blessing to find this article by Mark McGuinness on meditation and creativity on 99%. So much of the creative process and writing requires a clear mind. And time to mull it over. I think it's good to have the ol' neurons firing, but they also need some down time.

McGuinness writes about the benefits of meditation. "Qualities such as focus, calmness, clarity, and insight are as important to your creative process as glamour and stimulation." So true. Yet, it's hard to quiet the mind when it's racing. It's like yoga. I like yoga. It allows me to slow down the mind, expel the day and just breathe. Just breathe. Like meditation, it gives me some clarity and insight. But it takes practice. The mind is so used to being stimulated, that we actually have to work at settling it down.

I spend quite a bit of time alone as is, but I'm not actually alone. I'm always plugged in. Phone, IM, computer, etc. And there's no stillness. Michael Sean Symonds wrote an excellent piece about stillness in Ode. He writes, "We become so obsessed in the doing something that all of a sudden we want to do everything. And all of the time, the value of doing nothing goes unrecognized...If more people spent more time doing nothing, they might become aware of their true nature."

I'd say so. I think there's a huge value in travelling alone. When you travel alone, there's a forced stillness and quiet self-reflection.

So I'm going to try an experiment. I'm going to try and tune out more often. Unplug. Unwind. And just sit. Maybe in the dark. Think. Reflect. Breathe.

Hush now. Shh...

Bjork - It's oh so quiet from Stage of the Art .net on Vimeo.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The mind is so used to being stimulated, that we actually have to work at settling it down.

Yes yes and yes. Add in the worries about daily life, kids, dogs, relatives, etc...it is so tough to just be quiet, find that inner peace (I call it) and let the imagination roll out. I have been having a tough time with this for too long. I've been working on it. This blogpost gives me some ideas, and some affirmations for what I am already doing.

(I told this to Claire and she said I had to share--glad to).

Michelle K said...

Yes, it's tough to find time, but I find it helps to do it in chunks. Waking up a little earlier or even walking to work without any headphones on so you can have a few moments to organize your thoughts.

Good luck with your ideas. Let me know how they work out!

xammm said...

Sometimes my computer does not feature enough stimuli so I unplug my laptop from my screen on my desk and take it to the sofa to watch tv while simultaneously surfing.

Now while I was doing that a few days ago, I got up from the couch after half an hour to go to my desk in order to check my mails. But of course my computer wasn't there. I mean... I had my laptop on - well - my lap all the time.

That was kind of disturbing.