Last week I had one of the best days since I moved to Los Angeles. I found a viable solution to a challenge I'd been working on for 4 months since I started my new day job in March. The majority of my experience so far had been shrouded in a foggy haze, full of anxiety, without any certainty - not just about the project - but about whether I really belonged at the job.
This new clarity and subsequent confidence did not exactly happen over night. First, with focus and determination, I was bound to start making some breakthroughs on the project - and I had indeed experienced incremental steps in understanding things in this new world of software. However, the overall fog and lack of confidence had stayed pretty constant the first few months.
Then the past couple weeks things started to shift. I began to feel more comfortable, relaxed - and at first I couldn't quite place the cause. Some of it may have been caused by a new meditation practice I recently adopted and was keeping to with some regularity. But I'm convinced it was at least equally a result of the huge change in executive leadership that happened the week before. Nothing had formally changed yet, but there was an immediate sense of clearer goals and a greater reason for the work I was doing on optimizing operational processes. As much as I like creative freedom, some structure and boundaries are really important for me to feel comfortable.
[I've witnessed this same phenomena in pre-schools: the one that allowed flexibility in the timing of projects to align with the kids interests, but also had clear goals and deadlines, had happier children than the ones that were completely "free" without any structure imposed by the adults. When it's too free, there's also a lack of interaction and feedback.]
But what I find really interesting, is that on this particular day I found clarity on my work project, things began very differently from the moment I woke up. My brain was quiet. I remember driving to work and noticing there were fewer thoughts in my head…and I savored it because of how good it felt, how relaxed I was, continuing to focus on keeping my mind blank. This experience to me is a testament to the power of the mind, and in this case the power of a quiet mind. The direct relationship between thoughts and experience/feelings, is undeniable.
This wasn't the first time I've had this cause and effect experience. But previously what I had focused on was what caused my brain to be quiet in the first place…and usually I couldn't pin point it. It would seem to be a result of a randomly good night's sleep, or a new experience that was challenging me outside my comfort zone and therefore causing me to operate in a new gear that I didn't yet have any thoughts about.
This time, though, what I noticed is that regardless of how I got to the quiet mind, the results of it were truly magical and of breakthrough proportion. And it makes me more motivated than ever to learn to clear my mind of thoughts, those buzzing incessant thoughts - that might not even be good or bad, but are just racing and anxiety-causing simply because of their speed and noise. It makes me more dedicated than ever to continue to meditate as often as possible; meditation being the one thing that can bring more lasting and deliberate change to the thought patterns. I look forward to having more and more days of quiet mind; to consistently experience this quiet mind, not just have them here and there as a result of a random good night's sleep.
To freedom within boundaries and unthinking minds!
I used to spend so much brain energy and time trying to solve the mysteries of the universe, trying to find a theory that could explain it all. Then it finally became clear that it's all in the mind, and I'm just going to find what I want to find.
Amanda I. Greene
This is where I share my latest creative projects and link to my other blogs (Squishy Blueberry, Hollyfrost Comics, and Imagine the News).