Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Muddy Moment

My latest re-read is the book My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor. She is the brain scientist who had a massive brain hemorrhage. Her book documents her journey as her left-brain facilities shut down during the four-hour time period of the stroke. She fully recovered and now travels and speaks about her insights. My biggest insight has been how diligent she was in her self-care. In order to heal completely, Jill studied the affects of daily routines that zapped her energy. This section fully caught my attention. Because I am working more scheduled hours than I have for a long time, I'm struggling to recapture my spontaneity.

I've discovered that spontaneity is not how many moments I've collected for down-time: it has to do with simply being present. Being present is being available for spontaneity, which leads to insight, joy and deep satisfaction. In chapter 13, What I Need Most, Jill noted that one of the biggest energy zappers was the constant storytelling of the left brain. As a writer, I always believed that zoning out on stories and imagery was kinda good. But upon reflection, I realized that most of the left brain's stories had to do with whether I was doing enough, earning enough or good enough. When I began listening in on the rhetoric, my first thought was 'Enough!'
Photo from www.theabundantartist.com

Now when I hear my left brain gearing up for another long tale of enough-ness (where I always come up short) I simply imagine it standing behind a tiny, yet effective plexi-glass wall in my brain: I can see its lips move, but can't hear what it's saying. Next, I direct my brain to lecture at a podium beneath a giant sign that reads “Storytelling.” The sign is one of many. Other signs read “The Worry Monger,” “Fear Is a Wild Pig” and “Why I Should Be Master of the Universe Even If I Don't Own a Smart Phone.”

 With my left-brain busily engaged, I am now free to focus my energy on the present. Not surprisingly, I've found my week peppered with spontaneous pockets of joy. One was laughing as a young man in a cow suit strutted down the sidewalk on Santa Rosa advertising the Cowgirl Cafe. Another was glancing at the ocean at dusk and spying the sliver of the new moon. Still another was the moment after successfully wrestling a sprinkler from the mud that the boars had buried several inches deep. It was 7:30 am on a crispy morning, my pants were soaked, my knees felt creaky, I had citrus leaves in my hair and mud splattered on my face, but I felt alive and energetic and so appreciative of my nutty life. So this year, I'm not aiming for any specific resolution or even evolution. This year, I'm all about the sweet, muddy moment.

1 comment:

Anne R. Allen said...

Savoring the "sweet muddy moment"--that's a New Year's resolution I can get behind. Since my mom's recent death, I'm having a lot of "life is short" moments. I need to learn to savor what I'm given. Great post!

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