Friday, April 1, 2011

Warning: Gremlins Crossing

A mind that is fast is sick. A mind that is slow is sound. A mind that is still is divine. (Meher Baba)

I am trying to get back into the habit of starting each day with a brief spiritual reading. My favorite book for this (and available for free online here) is Words to Live By by Eknath Easwaran. I haven't been very regular in my practice, but I keep plugging away. Today's quote is the one above. In Easwaran's commentary he says "A racing mind lacks time to even finish a thought, let alone to check on its quality. When we slow down the mind, we work better at everything we do. Not only is the quality of our work better, we are actually able to get more done."

My mind is often like rush hour traffic in New York. Thoughts zooming this way and that; thoughts getting stalled and hopeless stuck; thoughts crashing into each other with horns jammed and blaring. I think a creative mind is often a very busy one but there must be someone or something coming in to guide traffic or else nothing would ever make the transition from idea to tangible expression. My frantic mind can be seen when I work. I am adept at spinning mental plates - jumping between several projects in a single session, believing I am being productive when I have a number of accomplishments under my belt at the end of the day. Sometimes I think this way of working is necessary, but all the time?

I realized today that my hustle to do so much is a product of my gremlins prodding me along. I have to do more to validate myself; that whatever I do is never enough. Sigh. And there it is: that bugaboo of worthiness. I recite my mantra "As I am, I am enough" but those sneaky gremlins turned things around on me. I may be enough, but in order to claim that status, I have to keep dancing. And dancing. And dancing some more.

To slow down my thoughts, I must slow down my life. I must retrain myself to focus upon what is before me and trust the million other brilliant ideas swimming around in my head will have their turn. Or not. As a friend often says, "Baby, it's all good ..."

Meanwhile, I wear my medicine pouch as a reminder of the lessons being gifted to me by the natural world. Allow growth to be organic, be patient with myself and my process, look for relationships, understand connection and celebrate the start of each day with a song (a lesson from robin), knowing I will have another chance to find worms, rebuild my nest and enjoy the view from the top of my tree.

Today, we transform the energy of our minds ...

... into joy!

postcard for iHanna's swap; I will share more on Monday (my monkey mind goads me into demonstrating i have also been productive)


  1. Are you real? Because when I read here I often think you are the voice speaking in my own head. Love the photo of cowgirl running. Oh, so, so much to respond to here but after a pedagogical day (and working my BIG painting) at the same time I am F-R-i-E-d. But I need to revisit this. You inspire me and keep me accountable (love that). Back soon....

  2. P.S. Thinking you should make some art that shows, "Gremlins Crossing".

  3. Oh to have a mind peaceful enough to allow the thoughts to complete themselves before jumping in, reacting, doing, responding, speaking,when there really is no need. This would be a worthwhile practice.
    Thanks for this quote and for framing this idea so well.

  4. Great thoughts; great art! Thanks for the link - I will enjoy this book.