So as I mentioned, my knee is kinda fucked up lately and I've been doing less of the huffy-puffy type exercising than usual until I can see the doctor. This means lots more walking, and, unfortunately for you guys, more meditation-like activities and more thinking about all this psychological stuff and how it affects us.
Lately the blog has even sort of unofficially instituted a new feature I could call "Mindfuck Mondays!" But then if did that, my own contrariness would pretty much guarantee that by next monday I'd want to blog about hemp milk or bog snorkeling or something totally different. So, fear not, there's no new official monday thing.
But meanwhile, somehow this post seems to be about brains and bark.
And yeah, this may partly be due to the fact that my camera phone ended up with a bunch of bark on it.
This is because my weird walking meditation experiments have somehow tricked my brain into seeing ordinary landscape that I used to ignore as "background" in a whole different way.
It's not quite as intense as if I were putting LSD in my water bottle; I mean the trees aren't walking up to me and doing the rumba or anything.
Instead, it's more like I'm not just walking down a street or through the park--all of a sudden I'm in some foofy modern art museum with a $30 admission charge, passing through a special exhibition of large canvases roped off in red velvet, and they are calling to me in a teasing smartass way, saying "take a second and admire me, asshole, or else why are you even here?"
It's not just bark, of course, it's also leaves and flowers and fences and storefronts and all kinds of environmental "art." They're all getting very noisy and demanding. But let's just go with the bark theme for today.
So what am I trying to say with all this? Here's a list thingy of main points so I don't turn this into an epic meandering ramble:
1. This weird bark obsession is just one example of my brain doing something different (and more pleasant) than it used to because I have trained it that way.
2. I have discovered I have way more control over how I view the world and how I feel about it than I ever realized.
3. Over the last few years, since undertaking various brain re-wiring practices, I have:
- Become far less pessimistic.
- Greatly reduced pointless anger and frustration.
- Become a lot braver about stupid things that wouldn't scare most people but that scared me.
- Found more and more moments of pure bliss.
- Stopped being such a freaking' worry wart.
- Developed more peace of mind about aging and mortality.
- Some other things that I can't remember right now.
4. It all takes a fair amount of effort!
5. It's all totally worth it!
6. And I still have a crapload of work left to do!So yeah, I may be writing a bit more about this stuff in coming months.
Because "health" is not just about how many burpees we can do or the nutritional benefits of blackberries versus strawberries, right? It's also about stuff like being happy and mellow and peaceful and effective and feeling like your mind is working for you, rather than against you, as you go about your day.
There are a bunch of books and articles I've read, audios I've downloaded, ludicrous experiments I've undertaken and bizarre practices I've "invented" that I'm kinda wanting to share.
Who knows, these posts might even end up being the springboard for the book I've been threatening to write for a couple years now, focusing on mind/body stuff for skeptical over-thinkers like me--those of us who can't quite stomach the typical perky woo-woo new age approaches to brain change without feeling all barfy. We'll see. But don't worry, I'll still be writing about antioxidants and HIIT and all that crap too.
What about you guys, have you ever consciously worked on changing the way you think and feel about things? Any luck? What worked?