My mind wanted to salsa this morning. Hot thoughts of creative sparks moving with my heart beat, moving forward, moving in circles, moving, moving, moving. There I was sitting for meditation and instead of stillness, my mind was buzzing with blast-off energy.
On occasion, I watch network TV and I tend to mute the commercial breaks. I might miss some clever ones, but commercials are loud and mostly silly, so I invoke the mute feature. Sometimes I would like to put a MUTE button on my brain to quiet the chatter of my schemes and obsessions. Just take a non-commercial break and listen to the silence for a few minutes. My morning meditation is my MUTE-button break. Without the chatter, I can hear the whir of the ceiling fan, feel the blood rush through my ears, relax my muscles, fill my lungs deeply. This twenty minutes break from internal chatter renews my connections with the present, my connections to my environment and my body.
Yes, a great idea might waltz into the horizon while I take this break from my thinking, but I have faith that all the truly great ideas brewing in my head will be there after the quiet. If not, they will go to the ballroom of great ideas to tango with someone else. I recently read an article where Laurie Phillips, a life coach in St. Paul, MN describes the art of not doing as the ability to detox the mind. “Doing nothing is a way of flushing the old stuff out so the new stuff can come in,” she says. “It’s like a cup of tea. If the cup is (already) full, you can’t put any more into it.”
So I select my mental MUTE button for a few minutes, inhaling renewal from the silence and exhaling distractions from internal noise. By emptying my mind of chatter for a while, I can refill it throughout the day with clarity and toe-tapping inspiration.
A little boy once said, I heard
That he had music in his legs,
Percussion fills my mind today,
Beating out a rhythm.
Like bells of inspiration; a tambourine of verve
A snare drum pounding new ideas
Vibrations rumbling muses
Throbbing gongs, triangle pings
The rat-a-tat of to-do lists
From castanets in anxious hands.
And chiming explanations.
Be still my hands, my mind, the waves
Of music-making in my head.
Just for a moment hear the rush
Inhaling air, then empty lungs
The rhythm of my beating heart
And rumbling chambers deep inside.
Time enough for inspiration
New ideas, and reminiscing
For now be quiet and still your thoughts
Before your band strikes up again.