I never seem to have enough time to be alone with my thoughts. There’s always so much to do. I don’t have the attention span to meditate for any longer than a minute, purposely doing nothing. It just isn’t in me, though I wish it were. I do find however, that I’m learning to enjoy “mind-numbing” tasks. They’re great stress relievers, especially when I’m having writing troubles. There’s something gratify in doing a task well, that requires no thought, not even the tiniest bit of brain power.
Today’s task was dusting. Not the kind of dusting where you flick the dirt around with a clump of feathers on a stick, that’s not hands-on enough for me. I like to use a rag, pick something that’s truly dirty, and wipe down every surface until the object in question “smiles” at me. I like the gratification of seeing some sort of progress being made. In the meantime, my brain can take a little breather. I’m not trying to solve the world’s problems. I’m not trying to fit 30 hours worth of tasks into an 8+ hour shift at work. I’m just trying to get the smudges off a coffee table, a simple task that I’m guaranteed to succeed in.
The best part of working on something this mundane, if I keep at it long enough, my brain will eventually shift gears, and I start generating all sorts of ideas. I may appear to be dusting away like a
crazy good little worker bee, but I’m actually someplace else. I’m inside the world in my head, generating dialog for my characters, asking myself questions about the scenarios I’ve put my characters through, and generally plotting away. By the time I’m finished, I’ve had a chance to explore my character’s world much more thoroughly than I’d normally be able to, and generally no one bothers me while I’m doing this. I think the fear of doing physical work is enough to keep most people away. 😉
Some people find enlightenment by sitting on a mountain, some through chanting, or by using incense and candles. Apparently, I acquire knowledge and wisdom about my characters through manual labor.