Monday, January 30, 2012

Quieting my head

I've been doing my best to catch up on blog posts.  I still have a long way to go on that but am getting there.  I'm glad that you write a lot because blogs have become a way of gaining knowledge and growth in my program of recovery. And the comments you make help me as well.

I was reading a comment from Mark (The Walking Man) who asked if I ever quiet my mind.  I can do that when I am at peace within.  In fact, a quiet mind is my usual state on the boat.  Sometimes, my mind is so quiet that it is blank--I'm not thinking about anything really.

At first, I wasn't sure that having a blankness was good.   I have been an analytical person all my life.  I was paid to think and analyze.  When the world pushes too hard at me,  I look for a solution.  Most of the time, I don't find one.  But I like the idea of thinking in terms of solutions and not about all that is wrong or problematic.

I don't like to have the wheels going in my head all the time though.  I believe that there is some action on my part that I can do, even if just to observe a situation and learn from it.  After that, I leave things alone and let others be.  I do think that things will work out the way that they are supposed to without my trying to orchestrate them to my liking.  And if my mind isn't necessarily quiet at times, at least I am making consistent efforts at keeping my mouth quiet.

I am still struck by reacting, especially when I am confronted by ignorance, hatred, bigotry, unfairness, and toxic behavior.  I want to reason with those who are unreasonable.  And it doesn't work most of the time.  As an example, it is rare anymore to have a civil discussion about politics.   Engaging in a political discussion is the quickest way that I know to lose quietness of the mind. I either say nothing when the accusations start flying or walk away--most of the time.

I do believe that some of us are born to live inside of our heads.  I was one of those who thinks a lot.  But I also know that it's good for me to talk or write about what I think.  That has been a big improvement for me--to not keep everything bottled up inside or to ruminate over and over on something.  Processing events takes time.  Eventually,  I let go and get back to having quietness and stillness.  Ebbs and flows.  Ebbs and flows.  Light and dark. Quiet.

Be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign
that you’ve died.
Your old life was a frantic running
from silence.
The speechless full moon  
comes out now.
- Rumi


  1. When my mind finally quiets down, I realize I am fully living.
    It's hard for me, though. Very, very hard.

  2. nice rumi quote...and i def have to practice at stilling my mind...knowing which convos to walk away from as well is huge...there are def convos with my parents i just dont touch...

  3. It is very hard for me to quiet my mind. Especially at night. Sometimes swirling thoughts drive sleep away. I need to practice meditation find peace more often.

  4. Meditation has helped me with getting some distance from the chattering of my mind. I use a "Centering Prayer" form of meditation (as taught by Contemplative Outreach) but I think that other forms would be similar. WIth this meditation, I am able to get "below" the thoughts and live from that place. I can watch the thoughts, but I don't identify with them.

  5. The idea that God is in charge of so much that I am not, really helps me to calm down.

  6. You have an interesting mind. I've seen many facets on your posts and comments over the years. None of us are just our blogs.

  7. This post has helped me to feel quiet, which has been difficult lately. It stills my depression fear...Im meditating more lately to quell the anxiety. I hope to get to the quiet state you feel.

  8. I'm struggling with quieting my mind tonight... But I will keep working to strive for that peace and re-connection with my HP.

    A friend gave me a deck of positive thought cards... I drew one to share with you. It says, "As I say yes to life, life says yes to me. Life mirrors my every thought. As I keep my thoughts positive, life brings to me only good experiences."

    Here's to saying yes to good experiences today! Night!

  9. Syd thank you for answering the question.

    I think of my mind as a house with many rooms and although it took me years to be able to first find and then enter the one that is always quiet, now I can do it at will.

    I realized that the thousand nagging things that created constant turmoil inside were of three categories.

    Things that have pissed me off but there is nothing I can do about them except be pissed off.

    Situations that are what if's or maybe's. Which I can mostly do nothing about right now except minimally to try to effect a positive outcome.

    And those I can do something about right now.

    I take care of the third right now and know that I can take some action that may cause a positive outcome in the future on the second.

    And the third are beyond my control so why be angry and keep holding that baggage? (after I have calmed down some)

    I like the quiet, I sleep better like you, you sail better.

    I am not a religious man but I am a spiritual man and when I care about something I think you can tell I feel it to the very depths of my being but still I have to figure out what category it fits in, give it an order of importance and then I can go into the place of quiet and enjoy the silence and interact sanely (as much as that word applies to me) with others.

    Be Well Syd, after all you have seen and been through you have earned your piece of quietude.

  10. Ah, yes, politics and religion ... the two subjects that are sure to wreak havoc on serenity. I will be forever grateful that they are off limits in AA meetings. The fact that we have a "primary purpose" has kept us in good stead for many years and, because of where I live (mainly right wing and vocal)the AA meetings are often the only place where I can get an hours respite.

  11. many thanks! I am an expert on politics, it'd my daily job, so I fully understand what you mean. I struggle with letting go, and the idea that I cannot change the world. I don't believe in God, but I do believe in Life, and in the idea that 99.9999& of the things happening are not because of me, and that I am not in charge of most of things and people in Life, and this really helps me to calm down. Probably step 2 and 3?

  12. You wrote in an earlier post that you had learned this saying: never pass up a chance to keep your mouth closed (or words to that effect). I have found that very helpful, in many areas of life, including the political! Thank you, by the way, for planting that saying in MY head.

  13. Quieting the mind.. this is what meditation is about for me.
    Learning to sit with myself and detach with compassion the twirling dance of thoughts in my mind.
    I try not to run from them but watch them and count my breath from 1 - 10.
    This grounds me in the moment.
    Thanks Syd

  14. I'm going to e-mail this post to me... What a post, Syd. I really needed to read this, and I thank you for your insights and experience. I can so relate!


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