As per my agreement, I have written every day this week. Woo!
But man, it’s been SO hard!
I’ve really enjoyed adding the daily practice to my life — writing in the mornings, painting in the afternoons. (la la laaaaa)
But the actual act of writing has been frazzled, disjointed, and frustrating.
I’ve been super busy AND have that PMS-induced anxiety, fatigue, and Rage (with a capital ‘R’) in my heart that makes it hard to organize my thoughts, let alone write them down coherently.
So writing has been particularly challenging this week.
But still I persevere. Still I show up and sit my butt down each morning and write. Knowing that the most important thing to the Muse is just that I’m here. Knowing that someday the ease and flow of words will return.
I call it “Multi-Thinking”, because for me it’s not about trying to do multiple tasks at once. It’s about trying to do a single task while thinking about a billion other things.
Multi-tasking used to be seen as a strength, but now we know that it’s actually impossible for your brain to work on two tasks at once. You just end up doing a crappier job.
And multi-thinking is the same thing. There’s no reason to be thinking all the time, it just leads to a clouded mind and more stress.
I want to be present, clear-headed, and flow through my day, rolling off obstacles and getting shit done. Ba-bam!
I mean, it’s okay to think about things…. But I personally obsess. I’ll think about the same thing over and over again, without any real purpose. I’ll think about dozens of different things while I drive twenty minutes to downtown, none of which are related to driving or anything around me. (Who needs a phone to be a distracted driver)?
And it doesn’t ever get me anywhere. I never come to a new conclusion or have a brilliant idea by over-thinking. No one does. The best ideas are born in mental silence, in nature, or while you do the dishes. Over-thinking just raises your anxiety and makes you feel frazzled and overwhelmed!
While you may or may not deal with PMS, mental and emotional overwhelm is probably something you experience.
The hormones just make it extra strong and hard to get out of… And it was there, in the depth of the shadows of the Mount Doom that is PMS, I realized that if I quieted my mind, and focused on whatever was in front of me… The road, the toaster reheating my gluten-free pancakes, the coconut shampoo in my hair… that my anxiety lessened and my mind cleared.
How to stop multi-thinking.
- Catch yourself multi-thinking
- Tell yourself to stop multi-thinking
- Take a deep breath and focus on whatever’s in front of you. Either move with purpose or sit in stillness and breath.
- Keep reminding yourself to stop-multi-thinking when you feel your mind drift.
- Give yourself a pat on the back for however long you make it.
For most of us, learning to clear our minds and not multi-think is a tough task. It can take patience, persistence, and gentleness.
But even just giving myself the simple reminder, “Stop Multi-Thinking” , is helpful when I find myself distracted or obsessing about something.
I may have to say it over and over again, but even just a few minutes of silence is worth it. Even just a few minutes can make your life easier and your day better.
As one of my favorite movie characters said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while. You could miss it” ~ Ferris Bueller.
And this is also the other purpose of not multi-thinking — actually enjoying the moments of your life. The cat on your bed, the fuzzy socks on your feet, the friends at your table.
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P.S. Speaking of PMS, have you seen my friend Devon Perrino Loftus’ Moon Cycle Bakery Kickstarter Campaign? She’s launching a subscription service that bakes and delivers (OMG YES) sweet, healthy, hormone-balancing treats to women for right when they start their cycle. I pledged and am so excited. There’s only a week left for her to reach her goal so go check it out! (And yes that’s me in the video)! I have a few of her treats in my fridge for extra help this week! They’re chocolatey amazing-ness!