My mind often (always?) feels cluttered. Crowded with many thoughts. Creating traffic jams up and down the information highways of my brain. Neural systems putting in overtime processing and planning. Recalling, replaying, reminding, reconsidering. In need of parking garages to be stored, with spaces neatly marked to find when a return is necessary.
This is my steady state. To overthink, overanalyze, fixate, perfect, critique, question. And repeat. Sometimes this is managable. Sometimes I let this mulling happens in the background, in the recesses of my mind, allowing me to continue on about my business, do what I need to do. Other times the cogitating is in the forefront, preventing me from focusing on a task at hand. Causing me to be distracted at inopportune times. Unable to be pushed aside and forgotten. The myriad thoughts crammed within the confines of my skull refuse to vacate.
The New York City in my head has, off and on for weeks, encumbered my sleep. I’d wake at 3 or 4 am every morning, unable to go back to sleep, scrolling down the endless laundry list of things to address, mistakes to rehash, goals to reassess. Some of the lists’ items are important and in need of attention, but certainly not in sacrifice of sleep. Of rest.
I am in dire need of rest. I need calm. I need peace. I need a break from the constant mental input vying for my attention. I need a break from agonizing over thoughts of what the hell am I doing with my life?
I want mental wellness. I want to just let some things go – or at least put on pause until I decide to come back to it. I’ve tried various mindfulness techniques and I’ve tried learning how to meditate – Oprah and Deepak’s “Meditation Experience” is amazing – but I can’t quiet my thoughts long enough to feel free to just sit and be. Or maybe I’m doing it wrong? Maybe I don’t know the right way to be mindful, to meditate, to relax? Maybe I’m overthinking how NOT to overthink? See, I can’t help myself! Sigh.
After I wrote Tuesday’s post, sometimes I doubt need others to encourage me to believe in myself. To see myself as worthy and enough. To see myself as capable. It’s convenient to fixate on the things that are wrong or broken and weak. Isn’t it a good thing to want to improve, mature, grow? Even though all of the evidence has shown that orrying and doubting won’t get me to being better or doing better. What about all the things I have done and am doing that is good?
I have been (re)reminded that the things I obsess over because they’re always running through my conscious mind are not a reflection of who I am or what I can do. Despite the uncertainy of the direction my life is taking, I’ve accomplished so much. There are so many things I’ve said I wanted to do that I’ve accomplished. Wanting to help people, to be of service, to guide, to inspire, to support, to encourage, to give, to write, to create, to travel, to learn. Some of it has been through my professional dealings, most of it through my personal efforts. I’ve made things happen, for the good of myself and for the good of others. I am doing (or at least working towards doing) just about everything I’ve set out to do with my life. And though after 30+ years I haven’t settled into a
well-paying career or started a family, I am actually in a really good place. Why can’t my mind hone in on that?
There is no room for shame or regret in my life. I’m too full. I am too forgiven, too adored, too fully loved, too full of ideas and dreams and passion to waste my precious life pretending to be crippled by something that is imaginary, like shame. Shame is an illusion. It disappears so easily.
- Glennon Doyle Melton
I’m a work in progress. That’ll never change. I just need to continue to find new ways to try and clear away the Tokyo subway in my head. It’s truly a headache. A girl can only take so much. It’ll get better right? I can figure this out, I have a PhD… (ha!)
So, here’s to quieting and decluttering busy minds, cheers 🙂
Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.