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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Zone.”

Getting lost in something….. bliss.

Thinking about that one activity to the exclusion of all other thought.
It happens for me in music – playing the violin, and physics – and meditation.
But weirdly in meditation the most concentrated moments happen when I’m not actually ‘thinking’ as such.

In writing this I’m thinking out lout – why is it bliss to be lost in something and not thinking about other things?

Two possibilities spring to mind

  • The other thoughts are unpleasant
  • The sensation of concentrating all my mind in one place is in itself pleasant

Both I suppose, unbroken threads of concentration are so satisfying, they don’t contain the constant background noise of self criticism or self congratulation.

Noisy Medication

I am a musician and sound is significant to me. Pitch, rhythm, timbre I notice it all. I hear the regularity of footsteps and how some people seem to pound the ground as they walk what energy they spend on each step, I often stop to ponder wonder why.

So it is not that strange that one of the ways I have experienced anxiety and depression is as a kind of background noise. I saw one person on Twitter refer to it as a kind of tinnitus. In my darkest times my head feels very noisy, I don’t hallucinate as such, but somehow I can’t hear myself think. At the worst points my head is bursting with undecipherable screaming and shouting.

Once, after meditating – Mindfulness of Breathing – I suddenly was aware of silence in my head. It was as if I’d taken off very loud headphones. The relief was enormous. My muscles  relaxed and everything felt okay.

I do take medication over the years different kinds. One thing about medication is that is feels a bit like background music. It increases the noise in my head, but sometimes that’s a good thing because it helps to drown out the hiss of depression. But, when I’m feeling better I become aware of the noise from the medication, the muzak suddenly becomes annoying.

Just now my head is quite quiet and I’m aware of the fact, I feel well. That’s the other thing. The whole idea of noise is something I’m only aware of when it stops then, I frequently have another thought at the same time. Somehow, I know it was a part of me all along making all the noise.

Really – do I have to just keep going !

In response to Writing 101, Blogging U course.

Ok stream of consciousness – I’ve to write for 20 minutes then press ‘Publish’.

So it’s going to be messy, no editing, no finely honed phrases. I’ve permission to been ordered to be carefree.

The thing is this….

It’s a bit like meditation – the breathing one where you just watch yourself breathe in and out. But I start having thoughts about thoughts about thoughts, like Russian dolls. Each thought I always perceive as the outermost Russian doll only to find that actually the following thought was watching the one before.

Here I’m writing and watching myself be ‘carefree’ and by definition I’m being care -full. So I suppose it is hard to be spontaneous on demand.

Spontaneous on demand – also known as – awkward fun. Team building days when we’re asked to take certain ideas and express them however we wish, someone always jumps up and says ‘I know let’s do a dance’ and I shrivel up inside while it seems everyone else leaps to their feet and says ‘Oh yes lets’.

So maybe it’s only me that finds difficulty with spontaneous carefreeness.

I’m sure it’s not.

Really – really – do I have to just keep going…. my first spout of words is drying up. I know !  Is this the point where I come out with something really good ? Yeah right.

Looking at myself in the mirror that is facing me just now I realise that I am not ready for the outside world today. I don’t feel or look presentable.

It is interesting therefore that I however do choose to present a stream of consciousness to a potentially large number of readers. When I don’t feel I can present myself to a shop assistant to buy milk just now.

I’ve frequently pondered on the blogosphere and how it feels like a safe place. It is the place I bring my ‘stuff’. Nobody I know in the ‘real’ world reads this blog. I would change the content if they did. There is something unique about knowing that your words will be read but not knowing any of the people that read them.

I have a relationship with various bloggers, we chat, acknowledge each others’ blogs in our posts – but for all I know I have passed them in the street, neither of us would know. Much of my content is of a dark nature, I talk about depression, self harm and suicide frequently. New readers take note.

In the risk of repeating some of the content of my About page, I will try to describe why I blog.

I need somewhere to vent my stuff. I live mostly very functionally and seem well. Much of the time my head is full of loud unpleasant thoughts, so loud that I sometimes wonder how come other people can’t hear it.

The process of passing the stuff through all the filters and getting it down into writing seems to help. The added bonus that it is actually read and that I get feedback is huge. It helps me to remember who I am, and not who I present to the ‘real’ world.

So, getting to the end of my 20 minutes and desperately trying to wrap up neatly.
Messy, verbose, dark and a little meandering, in 20 minutes this is who I am.

Thank you for listening.

I USUALLY CRAVE LOVE BUT FOR ONCE I WAS RADIATING IT

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “I Want to Know What Love Is.”

I had a bout of depression a few years ago, was hospitalised. It never really left, now I live alongside the depression better. I can’t say I’m happy, but there is a depth to life that there wasn’t before.

I had a very interesting meditation experience at about this time. Everything was so weird and intense, my mind was all over the place.

This experience was so blissful. A sensation of feeling pure love. Not coming in my direction, but from me. Most of my life I spend craving love, but for once I felt I was radiating it towards everybody and everything in general, it didn’t have a specific target. It was the most pleasant sensation I have ever had. It also felt like something that I had always known but perpetually forget – so familiar, how could I not remember this every minute of every day.

I had a sudden memory of being 5 years old again standing in a garden and feeling happy in the uncomplicated way that children do. They know the simplicity of love. It was so clear to me that this was my default setting and I had just forgotten it. It stayed with me for days.

I would like to say that I was permanently changed for the better by this experience – but in reality I forget. How crass is that ! My neuroses and fears cloud my memory.

Just sometimes it comes back to me as fresh as that day, utter joy, utter love.