Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Year Of Not Thinking

Today I jokingly told a friend that one of my goals in 2009 was to not think. Obviously, for an introverted and introspective person like myself this is an impossibility. A more realistic goal would be to stop obsessive thinking. I am talking about the kind of thinking where I get something in my head and I turn it over and over in my brain, shaping it like a pot on a potters wheel, until it falls apart and is nothing more than a pile of clay. Sometimes thinking in general, and obsessive thinking in particular, wears me out. I talk a lot about simply being and that is what I really want to do. I just want to move with the flow of life. Even though I am not a "head type" personality, I am often in my head thinking and pondering and speculating when all I really want to do is be present to the moment. Of course, it's not all a curse. A "StrengthFinder" test in my workplace indicated that one of my top five strengths as a leader is "Intellection". In other words, I'm good at thinking. However, many spiritual teachers remind us that our gift can also be our curse. Maybe, instead of not thinking at all for the rest of 2009, I'll just cut back and only think half the day.

I've been reading and receiving some good thoughts from others recently. Here's some that I really liked.

From the Tao...

Total centeredness and balance would be stasis.

This one really got me thinking...sorry. In the spiritual life we are always talking about being centered and finding balance. Yet, in the Tao, we read that this is not always the best thing for us. It is life's tug of war, the pushing and shoving, and the occasional loss of our balance that actually shapes and molds us. Interesting....

Finally, for all we writing and thinking types who struggle to find the right words, we read the following.

Genuine good taste consists in saying much in few words, in choosing among our thoughts, in having order and arrangement in what we say, and in speaking with composure.
-Francois Fenelon (1651-1715), French Roman Catholic theologian, poet and writer

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