“Shut Up, Mind!”

Jun 24

This is my friend Alice’s new mantra when her mind starts going round in circles.

How interesting! That’s the exact opposite of what I use when my mind starts going round in circles.

I just let my mind go wherever it wants without censorship. The “without censorship” is important. Censorship is exactly what makes my mind go around in circles. How can it possibly get out of that tiny little box it doesn’t know it’s in, when it keeps telling itself that that tiny little box is the only safe place to be?  What would other people think if I let my mind get out of the box?

“Shut up, Censor!”

When I let my mind out of the box, it takes me along absolutely astonishing paths, to places I’ve never dreamed of visiting, along roads I never thought I would travel. This often occurs in a semi-dream state when I’m half awake and half asleep. I’m conscious, but my critical, analytical brain is less active. That’s when my creative, right brain comes alive. I never try to stop it.

Often, I’ll go to bed struggling with a problem my left brain can’t solve no matter how hard it tries.

My right brain comes in, chuckles, and turns my left brain’s ideas upside down. In the morning, my problems of the night before are solved and I am at peace.

How do I remember the thoughts that pop into my head during that semi-conscious state? I keep a tape recorder next to my bed and talk into the recorder as the thoughts happen. In the morning when I’m fully awake, I welcome my left brain back, listen to my out-of-the-box mumblings from the night before and integrate whatever is useful.