Friday, September 4, 2009

5 Paths to Mindlessness

One of my favorite treats in the life balance pantry is made from mindfulness, focused gratitude and being in the present.   

That said... as I examine my current state of mind, there's a big part of me that just doesn't want to focus.  I don't want to think about the present.  I want to be someplace else.  I need a break.

There's always "liquid escape" and trust me, I'm holding onto that as an option.
In the spirit of pure health though, I thought I'd suggest alternative paths to mindlessness which work just as well, minus incriminating photos and hangover.  

Please feel free to share yours too.  (Paths to mindlessness that is; we'll save the incriminating photos for later.)
1. Music:  Whether you like to listen, sing, dance or all of the above - make sure no one is watching and pump up the volume!  Personally, I have really ecclectic taste in tunes.  Mozart, Bach, Journey, Black Eyed Peas, Kate Bush, Gap Band, Bette Midler, Mika, soundtracks from Grease, Les Miserables or Chorus Line. The old "party central" songs which are most complete with a room full of drunkards shouting choice lyrics.   Anything which wipes my mind slate clean as soon as the volume knob is turned to the right.  ("But this one goes up to 11." - Spinal Tap)
2. Books/Audiobooks:  In order for this to be a successful "getaway" it has to be a book which completely transports you.  So much so that if you stop reading, you picture the characters frozen in position where you left them.  Impatiently waiting for you to get back to the story so they can get on with their lives.

I recently had this experience reading the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer.  Someone suggested these books to me a long time ago but I resisted, not usually one to get sucked into the hoopla of pop teen lit.  But sucked in I became.  Make that embarrassingly addicted.  I highly recommend the audiobooks in this case.  They are so well read by Ilyana Kadushin et al, that they give you the escape of a movie with line-by-line integrity to the book (since it, um, is the book.)

If you like the Twilight books, go ahead and read The Host by Stephenie Meyer.  I know you're holding off because you think it can't be as good.  Afraid to kill your Twilight buzz, right?  Go for it.  It's just as captivating in a completely different way.  You won't be disappointed.

3. Tickle fights: Not a suggestion you might find on a list in SELF Magazine but it's one of my favorites. For me, there is just nothing better than rolling around with someone I love, playing and laughing to the point of possible incontinence. (Hey! Get your minds out of the gutter!)

4. Running:  A lot of people tell me this a great way to escape stress. (Also a great way to escape a crime scene for example, but that's a different blog.) I'm trying to get into it, I really am.  The theory is nice -- wind in your hair, just you and the road, complete freedom, etc.  But honestly I'm just not there yet.  I have a hard time clearing my mind when I run except to think, "I hate running.  I hate running.  I hate running."  That's just me though.  Maybe my ZenRunner friend will comment.

5. #3 but with my mind in the gutter. 

Related Posts:
Wanna Get Away
Paying Attention
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Hunter said...

Just received this as my very first Balance Beam email at work. Nice!

Kristen said...

I agree with number 3 and number 5, wholeheartedly. Also, I agree about THE HOST - I went straight from my TWILIGHT binge (and oh, it was undeniably a binge) to THE HOST and was very pleased. Though, I have not experienced the audiobooks.

john said...

My best stress reliever, is darkness. I forget all I learned,saw,heard that day and just hide in a dark corner in my mind.

Sarah said...

just tried #3 but my dog didn't seem to be ticklish... :(

Adam Tinkoff said...

If you hate "running" my first suggestion would be to start with mindful "walking" and simply let you mind get out of the way of what you're body was designed to do. The key to success in this practice is no secret and it can be found in one word... consistency. Nike has it right with their slogan. "Just Do It". If you ask me I would slip in "Shutup and" after the the word "Just". -ZR.

Charlene said...

Thank you Master ZenRunner! :-)

Argentum Vulgaris said...

Cool blog, I have followed, and included on Blogger's Cafe: under Personal Blogs 2.

Good luck, look forward to reading more.


Roflopagos Island said...

I too am a sucker for both the liquid escape and the Twilight escape. How about it made me feel like a teen again...why oh why can't I have a vampire boyfriend?? Love the blog and thanks for the comment on mine:) Glad I could make you laugh. Everytime I make someone laugh, an angel gets it's wings. Yeah...not so much hehe. I'll be back, you got a follower in me:)

wecognize said...

Hi Charlene, let me begin by thanking your for your valuable comment on my blog :).

Now about your post - Music is a big passion for me too. I like the way you have pinpointed what happens between the time we stop reading and resume reading again !

BTW my finance was in Boston for a few months, he recently shifted from there. He liked the place a lot :)

Charlene said...

Thanks for the comments - I really do appreciate the kind words, feedback and support.

I'm looking for the next "compelling to freeze fram" book to read (listen to) if anyone has suggestions!

Lorenza said...

I read the Twighlight books in Italian( I am Italian) last december, because I needed to understand why my teen ager daughter had been "out of reality" while reading them, no sleep, no food, no movies...very weird. Well, it was a "scientific" reading from my side, only to find out. I read all the books in three weeks time, hiding myself with a torch underneath the feather duvet. I understood completely my daughter...The following book was PRACTICING THE POWER OF NOW (E.Tolle): I enjoyed it very much indeed. Lorenza

Charlene said...

Welcome Lorenze! I also love Eckhardt Tolle. I have referenced him a couple of times in past posts; he is inspiring.

I am of Italian heritage as well (though I don't know how to speak it) and have some close cousins in Formia. :-)

La Jenno said...

Hahaha... so you succumbed to the Twilight mania too? My neighbor/bestie got me hooked on the series. Another of my favorites is Harry Potter. I can't tell you how many times I've read those.

I agree on both counts of the tickle fights as well... if only I could convince Marco that he likes to be tickled....

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