Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In the Soggy Quiet Places

As I try to bring blogging back into my life, I realize that one reason I've been writing is less is because I've been thinking less, or rather, deep thinking less.

My frantic schedule at work doesn't allow many bathroom breaks, much less thought breaks as I dash from teaching to tech support to meeting. It's all good, but none of it is meditative.

Being a specialist who only sees the students once per week for 40 minutes, I don't have the luxury of routines that provide breathing space such as I had when I was a classroom teacher. I've even worked to move much of the keyboarding from school-based programs such as Type to Learn and Mavis Beacon to Custom Typing which is an online subscription. I didn't move them to eliminate my breathing space, but that has been one of the results. Keyboarding time was really the only activity that approximated down time when teaching, since there are just so many times you can adjust a child's posture without driving them crazy.

On top of being busy at work, my ipod, which has taken the drudgery out of washing the dishes and cleaning the litter box, also helps to keep me from slowing down my thoughts. Likewise, I no longer live alone, so there is that (wonderful) distraction. I can tell that even when I sleep lately my thoughts are still too active.

Therefore, I've started swimming in silence. In the past I avoided doing that. I'd get too bored and then I would quit swimming so I used to wear my ipod in its waterproof case. Now, I'm finding that my brain is so full that the 40 minutes of silence fly by. I'm not even having deep thoughts then; by the end of the swim I'm just slowing down, not yet to the point of sustain concentration.

In the past, I've meditated, journaled, done yoga. I've gotten away from those things. Maybe it is time to bring some of them back into my life to raise the quality of it.

So how do you make space for deeper thinking? Are you able to pondering deeper thoughts in the midst of business or do you need a clear mental space for it? What strategies have been working for you? Frenetic minds want to know!