Every once in a while our thought routine can shift just a little bit. Last week I found an article that explains "Mindfulness" from a neurological standpoint. I have to share it in hopes that if there is anyone out there with a left brain/right brain imbalance you too can find happiness!
In a nutshell, the article states that the right side of our brain sees what is around us but the left side tells the story of what is seen. Ok. No problem except that the story may or may not be actual but rather a concocted version of what we experience. This is very much reduced but for me it is the truth I have been seeking my whole life. Knowledge is power and simply knowing I need to question my reaction to things makes sense.
I value my creative thinking process but I had not considered that this ability might change how I see what is around me. Lately, well actually for a long time, my left side has been in control. It needs to be for most of my quilting experiences but for relationships...well, creative interpretations of what is happening might not be helpful. So, my new mission is to be clear about what I am thinking and which side of the brain is in control.
I have a list of things on my desk to remind me of how to live a Zen life. I don't know where I got them but I will share them here:
- Do one thing at a time - In the loosely translated words of Tula Pink, "multi tasking makes you do stupid things" For tried and true multi taskers like me this is a big ask. I will try.
- Slowly and deliberately - ? not sure what this even means as I can only go at warp speed or sleep.
- Do it completely - this one should be easy because I watch John do it every day but how many times do I leave just a bit to finish later?
- Do Less - are they kidding? what drops out???? I can accept being a bit more "mindful" about what I say yes to in the future.
- Put space between things - ok. again, I'll try. I suppose this follows on from completing one task before starting another. As I type this I am seriously trying not to look to the right or left as there is no space between anything in my studio and the projects are stacked to the ceiling.
- Develop rituals - lets just call this discipline. Creating order in my brain is hard. It is hard not to be easily distracted but I can see how this might work to control the urges to run off track. Knowing where we are going is important.
- Designate certain time for certain things - so this must refer to the rituals. I get up, make coffee, answer emails and then dash to work. It feels purposeful but in the end, maybe making time throughout the day and week would ease the pressure on my tiny mind to remember things.
- Devote time to sitting - well...I am sitting now but I imagine this means to sit and meditate or relax. Meditating sounds hard but it does feel good to turn the brain off for a few minutes every day and better sitting than standing...!
- Smile and serve others - thanks to Leo, a yoga teacher I get this one. The simple act of smiling eases the pain of life. Try it...it just feels good. The other thing I have noticed lately is that smiling at someone makes them feel good too!
- Make cleaning and cooking become a meditation - I thought at first that this was the worst one but when I realized that thinking about making dinner made it taste better in the end and additionally that I was more grateful for the food. Not sure how to make cleaning meditative but I can play music while I do it and that might help!
- Think about what is necessary - this goes back to article. How much time have I wasted wondering about what "he said, she said" and not moving forward. It is easy to fall into bad thinking habits and I vow to try hard every day to only focus on what is before me.
- Live simply - there must be a reason this one is at the end. The sum of all parts. Declutter the mind, the space, the routine and be happy. What greater reward could there be?
Obviously I am writing this to myself. For some reason, it feels like more of a commitment when shared her in this space. The entire time I have been sitting so I can tick that off the list.