I’ve finally been able to slow down this week, to eat properly and to focus in a much better way. The weather is getting better and brighter, and so am I.
To sit and consider an idea, rather than rush around. To talk to people and enjoy the sunshine. That’s a treasure, isn’t it? To just be, rather than fret and worry. And worrying about worrying, it’s just an endless circle.
I normally try to be active every day, to burn off all excess energy, but with dance classes cancelled last week, a little creature inside me has greedily lapped up the opportunity to slow down. Instead of rushing and running and cycling and all, I have just gone for some long runs. Again, just focusing, just moving, rather than doing everything all the time.
It’s freed my mind up a little bit to be more imaginative in other areas, I think. In the mornings and in the evenings, when the hubble has died down from all directions and there are no terribly urgent demands until the next day, I like to light some candles and dim the lights, listen to the soft rumble of music and tune out. Sometimes I like to picture the inside of my head as made up of lots of little dials. I switch some things down: ‘staying active’ is downgraded from a 9 to a 6, ‘spending quality time writing’ is turned all the way up. Even if the ideas aren’t rushing rapidly, I honour myself the time to sit and reflect and think about my next actions. A slow flow. Ideas are always flowing, whether we’re looking at them or not. Sometimes faster and more energetic than other times.
But tuning out can be so hard! So much noise both outside and inside my head, that I only become aware of when I tune into myself, rather than out of myself all the time. It’s absurd to imagine that turning down the volume on the outside world would make the inside clear and easy to hear suddenly. And it’s not just noise that I’m overwhelmed by, but stillness also. Stillness can be the loudest of all when it’s oppressive, like being aware there are spectres that I didn’t notice before.
Turning my mind over and over, I uncover old stories, old poems and songs, half-written, written in a flurry but never re-edited. Even they feel like too much. Like a folder stuffed of ideas and worlds and writings I’ve never formed into a finalised project. But that’s okay, I realise, because some of them have evolved, and that old idea doesn’t even exist anymore, because it’s transformed into something else without me even realising… that’s how I feel as I go through all these old ideas, opportunities, that have now passed, that have died or become something new.
So I’ve cleared some of what I jokingly called ‘the rot’. But actually, it is rot. If I sit with an idea too long, it becomes more and more still and immobile, no longer alive and fluid. And it’s been such a relief; a true spring clean, not just of my surroundings, but of my mind. Clearing the inner annexes of my head, brushing away the cobwebs, I’m free to let ideas filter into my mind again, to hold them for enough just to give them some warmth and some nutrition, and to set them free again.
I put so much trust into others, and not nearly enough into myself. Learning to trust what I hear inside, my own words, well, that’s something I’m still learning how to do.