Begin Chilled Out

Day 360 Week 53 Q4  Monday, December 26, 2022

We all awake with many thoughts, which some refer to as the monkey mind. This internal traffic jam of ideas can be every bit as paralyzing and annoying as the physical ones we have been in while driving our cars for those of us who drive. Fortunately, it is possible to get out of both of these traffic jams.  In both cases getting up early seems to help. Driving before there are a lot of cars on the road is an excellent way to avoid sensory assault. And trying to clear your mind before there are a lot of incoming communications and committed to obligations is, in general, good practice as well.

Living in the mind of a Creative Outlier is somewhat like living in a massive city in that they both have a lot more traffic than living in a more normal mind or in the country where the traffic density is lower. Perhaps this is why many create outliers have a tendency to retreat to less densely populated regions for gestation and manifestation. It is, after all, more difficult to quiet the mind living in Manhattan than off on an empty beach far from any city. However, once a person develops some sort of calming centering morning practice, it can work very well in the country and in cities.

The wisdom literature reminds us that people have been trying to quiet and clear their minds for millennia. If modern times are more hectic than a couple of thousand years ago, surely this is still valid advice. And if you have a greater tendency for monkey-mind due to outlier amounts of curiosity and creativity, it can be even more critical. 

I can report back from investing considerable time trying to get into what I refer to as a State-of-Readiness, that it is indeed possible to do this reliably everywhere from New York City to the boonies I have retreated to. Although my idea density has seemingly not decreased at all over the decades I have been around, my ability to cope with this double tidal wave of incoming external stimuli and internal thoughts has radically improved out of necessity.

SOR or state of readiness is simply the ability to deal with whatever comes up. Some disciplines call this getting centered. And whatever the label, considering I can count on having more ideas than can be dealt with every single day, it has been worthwhile to figure out some means to dissipate the extra mental energy and reduce the internal traffic jam before becoming embroiled in the external one. Furthermore, sometimes this works so well that I forget about the passage of time and end up in a state often referred to as flow.

People have been attempting to get into some state which transcends themselves and their issues for at least the twenty-five hundred years the wisdom literature has been describing this endeavor. There are many different ways, from focusing on the breath, meditating, chanting mantras, going for a walk, listening to or playing music, making love and many more. And of course, one size can never be expected to fit all but if you do have a lot of curiosity, imagination, ideas or all of them, finding a way to get centered, flowing, ready, or quiet or whatever you want to call it, is very much worth doing.

And if and when you find something that works for you, it is worth attempting to habituate it, for there is no question that life runs more smoothly when you begin the day a bit more chilled out than you might be otherwise.