Day 41 – an idle mind is the monkey’s playground

I’m sure the posts of the last week or so have been much less interesting for all of you to read, being mostly devoid of angst and introspection. These days I’m more inclined to write love songs to sitting meditation and time with trees (if I could ever GET any! – make that longings for time with trees). Fact is, I’ve been busy, and busy in inspiring and exciting ways – as opposed to being stretched thin and run ragged, that can’t be good for your soul at all!

A few weeks ago, when I was getting my knickers in a twist on a regular basis, I was ranting to a friend about my latest angst. When I’d finally finished spewing, I summed up with: but I recognise 80% of my angst is fatigue driven. Thinking about that now, I realize it’s not only that when you feel crummy your outlook tends to get crummy – when you’re tired everything seems overwhelming and hurdles seem too high to try and muster any kind of leap – but when I’m too tired to do much, mentally or physically, my brain has lots of time to ruminate and fuss. Lots of time to think about what my problems might be, and how I would solve that if I had the energy to do anything about all the things I think are problems <insert dancing chattering taunting mental monkey here>.

I’m a big fan of Taoist Problem Solving: do nothing and see if the problem resolves itself. People often confuse Taoist principles with stagnant inaction, but really Taoist Problem Solving has a lot more to do with acceptance, letting go, and trusting the unfolding. If you’re in the Tao, things are exactly as they should be; why would you try and fix that? When, in the moment, it’s time to take action, action naturally arises and what needs to be done gets done. All that thinking and trying in the meantime is just a bunch of, well, thinking.

Well, I’ve been too busy for thinking these days. My mind is almost constantly occupied with a million little problems of logistics and execution and creation. Lovely focusing invigorating problems to have! And in those quite moments I’m so grateful for some stillness I’m not going to mess that up with thinking. When the dust settles, I may still have some stuff to work on, some real problems to solve (and I can feel my soul tugging at me for a bit of attention these days, it will be interesting to see what it has to say when I slow down). But for now, I’m busy, happy and all is well with the world.

So many of what we think are problems aren’t really problems. And filling your life with people and things that light you up, fill you up, inspire and excite you will make a lot of those “problems” just drop away. Unless of course your problem is you don’t have enough exciting and inspiring things going on in your life. In which case I recommend saying YES to any invitation to play. Especially things you didn’t think you could do, or that you wouldn’t like. You never know ’til you know. And the fun and exciting things are often the unexpected things. Life really wants to surprise you and bring you joy, if you’ll just get out of your own way, and let it!

Look at me, I’m becoming very legitimate writer chick, smokin’ hot samba drummer, and soldering queen. If you’d told me I was going to be any of that 5 years ago, I’d still be laughing the tears out of my eyes. 5 years ago none of this was even on my some day… dream list.

So don’t let that monkey run amuck in your head. You go out and run amuck! Live your life, your REAL amazing exciting life (there is one out there for you!). And leave that monkey sitting on the monkey bars all by himself!

 

 


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