So I’ve Been Thinking … (What Else is New?)


photo credit: Lost Stormtrooper Pic #2 via photopin (license)
photo credit: Lost Stormtrooper Pic #2 via photopin (license)

I love the thought process behind thinking.

Thought courses through the veins of blogging. Between the blogs and NPR and my kids’ questions and my work, my mind collects a little of everything.

It’s like when your taco is overstuffed and maybe cracks up when you eat it, and there’s all this random goodness left on your plate. My synapses get the equivalent of the P90X workout, 24/7.

The ruminations of the mind can wreak all kinds of havoc on the process, though. To filter the light from the dark is like extracting the hickory smoke out of a slice of bacon. Not that you’d ever want to.

A diet of purely positive thoughts sounds idyllic and solid as my hate for the dodgers. It’s also impossible and not very good for the soul.

At least not for me. I’ll leave that clean living to those who can manage it, and vegans. I love good; I understand bad is good for target practice.

You might know my friend Les. She writes a blog called Timeout for Mom. If you’ve been there lately, you might feel compelled to kick off your sneakers. Your hands might involuntarily morph into Anjali mudra pose.

There’s a whole lot of Namaste and Zen going on over there.

namaste

Namaste and Zen are personal, like anyone’s butter-to-syrup ratio on waffles.

(Are you an every-square-must-contain-syrup waffler? Not only do I not account for every square, sometimes, I don’t even line up the waffle grid on the top one with the bottom one.)

And Namaste and Zen never stop moving, so they’re never locked in and they’re never conquered.

We adjust. We adapt. We create a new blog banner because the old one remains too stuck in the past. We choose a new blog theme, if anything, to demonstrate that something else can work.

We pull things that bring us peace and energy closer. We replace those that simply ring in our ears.

I’ve had enough of Dylan Roof and nuclear negotiations. So much so that I turned off NPR and plugged my phone and Pandora into my car stereo.

Give me the words of George Harrison, not John Kerry.

photo credit: NPR Headquarters Building Tour 33205 via photopin (license)
photo credit: NPR Headquarters Building Tour 33205 via photopin (license)

(I’ll miss you, Sally Herships. Adieu, Alissa Block. Godspeed, Alice Fordham. I just can’t, right now.)

Those elements in the world I can’t fix detract from my own mindfulness. It’s a mindfulness I choose and I know it won’t soften the heart of the next Dylan Roof and it won’t flood foreign policy with reason and sobriety. But it will make a difference. To me.

It already has. Although I do have a way to go.

When you’re mindful, something changes. You might not notice it on Day 1 or Day 31. It changes so much, though, that when you’re faced with a rumination that would dominate in the past for you, it just doesn’t fit any more.

And then you see the progress.

The day I turned off my beloved NPR, I wasn’t looking for a sign. But I got one anyway. Maybe.

Something to think about, at least.

[Click here to hear the song that came on first.]

sun quote

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31 Replies to “So I’ve Been Thinking … (What Else is New?)”

  1. I couldn’t love this more if I tried as you somehow weaved bacon, tacos and George Harrison and The Beatles into one article! Oh and by the way, now I am singing, Hear Comes the Sun, which is perfect for this Monday morning 😉

  2. I really love that I signed on to follow your blog, Eli…..I get my whole workout just trying to keep up with you…serious to funny to sad to mad, from host to entertainer, you really have it all going on on here!

  3. I am also so tired of the news. Should I be informed, or should I just be sane? I know there’s a balance. I’m leaning more towards sane. It never even occurred to me to line up waffles, and if every square were filled, I never noticed that either. (But thank you for keeping the Star Wars picture. This makes your blog so unique.)

    1. It’s not just the news, but what news sources *tell* us is the news. They play a role. They emphasize this or that, use certain words in certain stories, and it inflames. I never thought I’d say this, having spent 10 years in the newspaper biz, but can’t we get a little good news now and then?

      I want to be informed, too. But if informed means the slants and jabs i’ve been hearing … I’ll just go fishing.

      I might have been one to line up the grid before on my waffles. Now I just let it be.

      This blog will *always* have Stormtroopers, April. Until the day it doesn’t. I even try and go back and put Stormtroopers on posts I published before I found the Stormtroopers art.

      1. I so agree. My husband spent several years in Iraq and Afghanistan, and he saw what the news would report, that was going on right outside, and he’d look out there, then he’d look at the news, and he’d say, “They’re blowing this way out proportion.” They sensationalize everything, so he has a little distrust for media.

  4. I had to read it twice.. and then I totally got it. Lightbulb. The first time wasn’t confusing – it’s just that Des was pushing my keyboard around and I got upset.
    But bacon. And blog changes. And noticing it on Day 31. Or Day 17,000.

    1. it was confusing to write. I felt like I didn’t say what I meant to at first, but then I couldn’t really tell what I meant to say.

      But yes, bacon and blog changes. They’re necessary. Other changes you don’t notice right away but they’re happening.

  5. Well aren’t you the devil may care waffle eater? The taco analogy is spot on. That shell always cracks no matter how hard we try to protect against it or how carefully we change our behavior to avoid it.

    1. I leave it up to waffle fate at that point, Mo. Lots of life can be philosophically tied to tacos. Flour tortillas are an option, but sometimes you have to take a chance on the crunch.

  6. Yes yes!!! bring peace and good energy things closer!! I love that. even “over-stuffed taco” is perfect, because that is often how my brain feels — but it isn’t always random goodness that spills out. but practicing mindfulness — truly knowing what your current state of being is and accepting it: that’s where contentment is born. and that’s where you gradually start to notice the difference in your thought patterns. that’s when you start to feel gratitude for all your states of being; you don’t have to fear them or shuffle them into something else anymore. You can just Be. 🙂

    thanks for the shout out!! it’s nice to pass a friendly face who knows about syrup and bacon and good music on the path of life. Namaste! 🙂

    1. It’s not always easy though, is it Rore? I sometimes feel selfish in the process. And then there’s the difficulty in ACCEPTING your current state.

      Thought patterns will change, if you give it a chance. Even if you don’t, they might.

      Thanks for lighting the path ahead for me and for others on this journey.

      1. oh I don’t know if I am lighting the path…. maybe a few fireflies in a jar. because that would be cool. but sure is nice to have company on the journey 🙂

  7. Now you’ve gone and reminded me of an extraordinary dinner out. My son had a pal when he was in kindergarten who invited us over for dinner. Mom served waffles. Yup. The little chap spent the entire hour and a bit cutting each square and consuming it before moving on to the next one. IT. TOOK. FOREVER. No comment from his mother as she’d gone blind to it. The next time I served waffles to my two my son began to cut off one teensy square. My reaction put an end to the second one being a solo job …

    1. haha … some things are just meant to be savored, Kelly. I’ve been known to linger with a great slice of pizza or burger, loving every single bite.

      I’m reasonable, though. I’d have taken squares four at a time.

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