The Sacred Mundane

I’m not very good at meditation. I don’t actually know many people who are any good at it, but that’s sort of the point, right? You’re not really supposed to be good at quieting the mind, otherwise it wouldn’t be so useful. The same can be said of anything that requires practice, which is why we avoid practices. You don’t have to practice paying attention to Facebook, you have to practice NOT paying attention to it.

Pay attention, Daniel san.

Pay attention, Daniel san.

A dancer in my childhood, I find myself drawn to the physical when I seek to quiet my mind. I dance in my dreams when my subconscious is communicating to me that I am in need of a still moment of expression, and then I dance in my kitchen when I wake up. When I’m expecting my moon cycle and things get emotional, I find great relief from vigorously cleaning my house. If I need to have one of those talks with someone, I prefer to do it while walking outside. There is something about allowing my body to be occupied that gives my mind and emotional body space to wander. I have great epiphanies while riding my bike home late at night after work. I get a lot done when I’m scrubbing the bathtub.

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When I was a kid I asked my mom to get me one of those tile samples from the hardware store with the little tiles that are glued to a mesh backing. I would bring it to the bathtub with me so I could scrub each individual tile with an old toothbrush. It just calmed my mind. If my mom were less open-minded, she probably would have taken me to a psychiatrist, starting me down the path of being diagnosed with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and likely medicated. Instead, because she let her sensitive, empathic, creative-minded daughter indulge herself in these behaviors, I was able to find a safe little place to quiet my racing thoughts. Very fortunately, my light “OCD” behaviors never developed into anything too life-limiting, as it does for many people who struggle with OCD, but the underlying psychosis at work was always to bring order and simplicity to the dizzying internal world I felt out of control of. Obsessive thought is still something I struggle with every day. If my neurons were made of copper wire, you could probably power a whole city with the amount of circular thinking I partake in on the regular.

What is your version of scrubbing tiles? What does your mind palace look like? Where do you go when you need to quiet the voices in your head? What is your sacred mundane?

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