I have done very little writing this summer. I guess I am OK with that, but I do find myself searching for something and I think the search is for something as comforting as writing was earlier in the year. It is so easy to blame summer. There is sheer joy in just being in the world where the windows are open to a constant breeze and the birds sings and the water becomes holy and warm and healing. I did spend a great deal of this summer healing and thinking about healing.
Before the summer ends I wanted to put some of these thoughts together in a cohesive essay because I think they might be helpful to other people who suffer from the chronic critical voice that lingers like a ticker-tape in the back of the mind, forever calling out some atrocity about to happen or warning us about some grievous fault that we have committed.
We have a mind that we can to some extent control. That is the mind we think with. “I think I want to go to the marketplace and purchase some vegetables for tonight’s dinner.” That statement is a thought that will most likely propel me into an action at some point so that I am able to accomplish the object of my desire: buy vegetables. The sound from that voice in my head was as clear as if I had spoken it out-loud.
But, what about the voice that speaks in a dimmer tone, the one that says: “you can’t do that, you are not smart enough, you have no culture and if you go out everyone you want to impress will know what a supreme jerk you are….” That voice is also a communication from the mind but it seems to have a more autonomic sense about it. It is not a thought that i decided that I wanted to have, rather it is a thought that stays suspended in a sub-conscious state and though we have no desire to listen to it, it may well propel us to action or passivity like the first example about the vegetables.
We are frequently guided by a force that seems to come from nowhere. We put our heads on the pillow and instead of a list of gratitudes, what comes out is a list of outlandish criticisms that seek to prevent us from going after what we want.
This summer I wanted to stay home at the Lake. The voice was very loud on many occasions telling me I was lazy, but I was able to overcome the voice by continuously reminding myself that following my desire is a more noble effort than sulking. It occurred to me many time this summer that if I was going to have a pleasant, free and easy summer that I was going to have to invite in the peace that comes from deliberate intention.
It remains amazing to me that the negative thoughts springing from some repetition in the ego are so easy to access, while the peaceful, calm, deliberate serenity that I get from writing, or reading or a multitude of other activities that I enjoy; these must be invited in. I like to use a “zen” like singing bowl, tap its side and listen to the vibrations that last into a long fading silence. This reminds me that I need to listen deliberately and that I must be conscious about inviting in gratitude….
Summer was great!