I took a media break this week. No facebook, no TV, no radio, no magazines, limited blog reading and only light fiction for books. Holy Goodness, can I tell you how amazing it was?!?!
First I noticed that my brain was unusually quiet. No monkey mind obsessing or running wild or feeling overwhelmed. Next I noticed the lack of anxiety – without all that monkey mind buzzing I felt calm. Now here’s the best part: I could complete my thoughts. Without the buzz and the overwhelm and the distractions it was so much easier to think.
Another thing I noticed was that without all the buzzing in the background, when something did make me feel anxious or overwhelmed, it was super easy to figure out the source and knock it off. The first time it happened I was looking at a Zentangle book of all things. Go figure.
I was also surprised to notice that I had more time to make art and do some things I really enjoy but never do, like listen to TED talks. It wasn’t even so much about the extra time as it was about the uncluttered mind that could settle down and focus on doing things. As for the TED talks, I highly recommend The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz (you can find it with the search feature on the TED website). He talks about how the unending array of choices we have these days overwhelm us and make it hard to get anything done. Amen brother!
So I’m not planning to give it all up and become a hermit, but I am going to be very deliberate about adding noise back into my life. One thing at a time and careful monitoring of how each thing makes me feel. ‘Cause I’m really enjoying the side effects of the quiet.