How an unfavorable, mindless, activity brought me to a surprising state of calmness
As someone who strongly believes in the power of growth, I often cornered myself into a guilt-tripping state to try something new,…everyday, if I could. Until one day, I found myself binge watching a television series that didn’t involve a lot of listening and critical thinking. Suddenly, it dawned on me: Everything I endured last year was brand spanking new! But without the moments of “downtime” to reflect and process all of the life’s lessons, I was unable to find solid ground and consequences emerged.
I started feeling anxious, like I was spinning in a realm of constant uncertainty. I felt no matter what I did or tried to accomplish, it was never enough and my efforts would always fall short of meeting the expectations around me. In a matter of seven months, I had experienced a sudden job loss, a dangerous housing crisis, three illnesses in the family – while becoming a first time publisher, playwright, film director, non-profit content creator all at once. Looking back, my mind was driven so hard at full speed, profusely, that it was even hard for me to speak sometimes. It was all moving so fast and I couldn’t stop it. I was having trouble articulating my thoughts and I felt that if I did slow down I was going to miss something or accuse myself of being lazy.
Before I knew it, the new year arrived. There I sat, jobless, in the middle of this year’s winter and having nothing better to do (to ride out this East Coast ice vortex) than to binge watch what I always considered to be “mindless garbage” television.
But after hours of ingesting this “mindless garbage”, something was happening to me… I was able to verbalize my thoughts. I was slowly starting to articulate my goals and something foreign began washing over me…It was calmness. I went into the bedroom without the armor of my notebook or laptop and that’s when the reflection came over me: Watching hours of “mindless garbage” was repositioning my mind. I started to realize that I just went through a lot of my own “mindless garbage” in life. Well, not all of it was “mindless”, but still, there were definitely moments. It’s odd to admit that it took me unwinding to “mindless garbage” to finally acknowledge that I had experienced a lot over the past few months, but that’s exactly what happened… And in that moment of sitting in complete silence, it dawned on me that I was learning even when I thought I was being lazy…
I was learning to decompress…
– Turn off my thoughts
– Turn off my need to analyze everything
– Silence my fears
– And just be!
Last year, my life was filled with disoriented puzzle pieces from both progression and setbacks. Although the puzzle pieces were created mostly by stimulation, my gut was telling me that it will take decompression to put them all together.
The stimulation is the trajectory, inspiration and desire. The decompression serves as the wisdom and guidance to bring it all to life.
Five Months Later…
As the one year anniversary approaches of all that happened, I look back at that time and revisit the person I used to be. Never would I have ever predicted that I was going to wake up and call Arizona my new home. But here I sit, living in a desert for the very first time. Of course, trying something new is still very much an active trajectory in my life, but the desert calmness is enabling me to find balance between stimulation and decompression. I don’t know what the future holds, but desire and wisdom have found ways to co-exist since deserting the city:
In The City….
…I had a journey to performance
In The Desert…
…I had a journey to peace
And through these two new puzzle pieces, I fledge forward with the hope that I will continue to nourish this balance…Where all that is new can create a goal and where my thoughts have a voice that’s finally being heard.