Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's Okay to Be Bored

A week or so ago, as I lay in bed, mind racing, trying to get to sleep, I had the startling realization that I am constantly, constantly feeding my brain.

Too much of a good thing tain't better. And there's been plenty of junk food mixed in there, too.

I've just gotten in the habit of constant mental stimulation. TV, internet, books, studying, listening to podcasts ... no silence. No time for digestion. Here we are now, entertain us.

Well, knowing and making a choice to change are two different things. Just got done preaching three Sundays in a row, now time to study for a test ... I needed more time for silence, not less. Yeah, didn't make a single change, though.

I wanted to take a long walk at the gym, so I got on iTunes this morning to load up my iPod. And two of my favorite UU preachers didn't have their podcasts updated yet. And the third, I'd already listened to her's (well, her intern's) on the way to class yesterday. Refresh Refresh Refresh. Come on! Don't these churches know there's a seminarian just dying to hear their words? Refresh refresh refresh. Oh peas. Okay, fine. Found some other sermons. Loaded them.

Ear pods? Ear pods? Finally found them.

Off to the Y. Drop off Little Warrior in her room. On to the track. As I was unwinding the long winding road of ear pod wire, I dropped my ipod. It froze up.

Nooooo! I mentally screamed. Trapped, on a track, with nothing to break up the monotony of walking around and around and around. Okay, LE. You can do this. You can just walk.

Just walk. Nothing to hear but the quiet pad pad pad of other feet. Nothing to see but white painted walls. Silence.

Well, not in my head. Do you know what happens when you allow a brain to just relax? Not be inspired, not studying, not entertained?

It goes a little haywire. Forget monkey mind, I had all of Noah's ark up there, and maybe even a few creatures not from the natural world.

But it did take some time to explore some things like why I harbor a fear of being bored. And at the end of my walk, I realized:

I hadn't been bored at all.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to turn off the computer, turn off the tv ... partially because I know I need it, and partially because I'm afraid the universe is going to strike both with lightning if I don't take the hint.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post - my crazy commitment to sit for 30 minutes a day is hard, but like you I know I needed to make space.