I have obsessed done some more thinking on the subject of my mind. I feel that the intensity of my mind causes my periodic clean ups. I dive deeply into topics but sometimes I am swept away with the current or become entangled in weeds, which requires instant backpedalling and mad clean up skills. Often diving deeply is pure bliss and relaxes me. But if I try to do it in too many areas, I become overwhelmed, either timewise or energywise. I need to curate my brain. Corral it into certain areas only. So much and no more brain! Of course the internet, with its ultimate diveability, is my heaven and my nemesis. How easy to get lost in rabbit holes of information which whirl and swirl in my brain all night, causing sleepless overload as I try to process it all. I adore disappearing into knowledge and ideas but it isn't really practical with a family to look after. I am pretty grumpy and/or emotional when I lose sleep. Having to keep a household running and make sure everyone is eating well, closes the door on romantic lifestyles sacrificing all for the pursuit of knowledge or art! Of course sometimes the brain wins and I can't sleep, hence writing this at the crack of dawn after four hours sleep!
So after diving too deep and almost becoming submerged, I tell myself no more, and do extreme clean up measures to try and restore balance, only to find I've swung too far the other way and have nothing to chew on, causing boredom or worse, allowing my brain to invent things to worry about...not a good place to be. So I need just enough busyness for my brain to keep ticking over, but not too much to cause overload and derailing. Difficult balance for an intense prone mind. I am always assessing, can I reduce more online interactions? Just like with my wardrobe. I have a cull and feel all light and free, then start getting bored and start shopping again, only to have to start the cycle of purging once more. Is this a natural and healthy cycle or one I need to stop? Should I just admit my intensity and be done with it, or learn to curb it?
I also think my sensitivity to what others think has coloured what I do and why. For example, I often feel guilty if people comment on my blog, when I don't reciprocate on theirs. It just feels rude. So I run around like a headless chook, collecting bloggers and building up my readers, then find I can't sustain it and have to drop them all like a stone. I would love to be a person who doesn't feel other's feelings and just could stand alone. How relieving that would be!
A couple of practical ideas I'm trying:
Using tabs to curtail my deep diving. As I open my emails in the morning, or read blog articles or facebook posts that look interesting, I export all the links into my browser in a limited number of tabs. This gives me a visual representation of how much my mind is taking in. I then walk through them during the day, closing them as I read them. By using this technique I'm hoping to allow myself depth but not too much breadth; to keep a reasonable limit on my reading and researching and interacting.
This means my reading is meaningful and not just rubbish online eye candy...not that eye candy doesn't have its place, and sometimes I feel I should utilise it more!
Before I open an app on ipad, I hesitate and ask if my brain wants the stimulation right now. Am I seeking new ideas and experiences right now, or am I just going through the motions or feeling guilty or trying to distract myself.
Some thoughts I have aired in other spaces: This was in response to a post about an idea of enlightenment being like climbing a mountain.
Yes, I would concur, the sense of awareness of the presence of the mountain has encouraged me in my climb. Although sometimes I feel it might be a mirage and I'm just hanging in midair! This article and Dabrowski's theory are helping me put a positive spin on my years of yearning and searching. Maybe I haven't been spinning in place, maybe just maybe I have started to climb. When surrounded by others who try to be supportive but look in puzzlement at your detailed questions, or who gently patronise your frenzied angst, it is hard to feel you are on the road to enlightenment. I do think my inner drive has helped me persevere. And my ability to see things from multiple angles helps me try again. I must admit most of my work has involved counselling to find out why I am broken, which I now disagree with. I wonder if it led in an upward direction, or if I just stood at the base of the mountain digging a hole in my navel!
I have recently had some lovely conversations with readers who are on a similar path. This is so encouraging to me, as that is the exact reason I air my dirty laundry in public. Maybe I have a few insights that can save someone else time on the journey. I hope so.