Day #75 – Traveling, Mental Clarity and Feeling Nervous-cited!

Today is Monday. It’s a short week for us because we are going on vacation Thursday!
I love to anticipate…the nervous excitement of looking forward to an experience…the flurry of activity as one prepares…but mostly the promise of a good time that floats on just outside of the routine-ness of the day.

For the first time ever I felt this way about running today. As I sat through sessions and meetings and paperwork, my body itched in anticipation of the run we were planning that afternoon. We had our rest day yesterday so I guess that gave my body and mind time to long for the exertion and mental clarity I always seem to achieve after a run.

Traveling does much the same thing for my soul. There are elements of it that are fatiguing: the planning, the driving, and figuring out where we can eat (due to allergies). But any headache is well worth the clarity of perception. I love seeing other people live, to be reminded that there is no “right or wrong” way to be, but all kind of ways of being. And the tapestry of that experience is colorful and intricate. But whereas I found beauty in our differences, I find comfort in our sameness. I never travel without being reminded of the connective-ness of everyone. While I am one small fish in the ocean, I am a part of the larger ecosystem of the thriving cosmos.

So yes, anticipation which can feel some like anxiety, much like excitement, being wrapped in impatience with a bow of nervousness.

It’s one of my favorite feelings because it means something wonderful is about to happen!

A man's shadow cast against a wall at a fitness center.

Day #31

Tonight, as I walked in place of Mrs. Meander I decided to try to walk without instigating any thoughts, but merely observe the thoughts that my brain produced and let seep into conscious awareness.

I was astounded at the sheer bulk of random thought processes that continually stream forth from the recesses of the sub-conscious. On a dark and relatively stimuli-free walk, my brain produced thought processes including, but not limited to: relationships, travel, marriage, pain, loss, camping, building, racism, Michael Brown, excess, lack, childhood memories, decisions, money, exercise, and politics. And so it went, and so it goes.

As soon as I became aware of a thought process and dismissed it, resolving to walk with nothing but my sensory experience… well, the next thing I knew I had just spent several moments “thinking” about something else completely irrelevant to this present moment.

It caused me to pause and ponder, “How much of what we react to, what we think we really “think” about is actually just us noticing our subconscious processing a mire of previous thoughts and inputs? Are we really thinking original thoughts when we say things like, “Well I think…”? OR are we simply allowing our brains to regurgitate a conglomeration of past outside voices that we mistake for our own?

I have a challenge for myself and for you, wonderful reader: As you go about your day, notice yourself “thinking,” and perhaps ponder the content of those thoughts. Were they relevant to your immediate situation? Did they bring happiness? Did the instigate anxiety?

Could it be that the journey to mindful living is paved with an awareness that our passing “thoughts” are actually making us, and not the other way around? Perhaps catching brains in the act of thinking could be the ticket to a more peaceful existence.

Happy thinking, my fellow travelers…