(Originally published 14 Nov 2013)
What do you do when your head is full? If you believe Homer Simpson (and who doesn't) then something has to go to make room to remember new pieces of information; I'm paraphrasing the great man of course. I constantly feel like my head is full, that's maybe why I'm not learning anything new! Not only does it feel full, it feels like its a flicker book of random images cursing before my eyes quicker than I can determine what they are or mean. It can be exhausting. That speeding blurred conveyor belt of memories, if that's what they are, never lets up, never slows down and never seems to end. I've had it so long I can't remember what it was like before. I can never relax, not properly, cause my mind will wander to places I don't want it to go...and I have little control over it.
A few years ago I went to see my Doctor and he didn't prescribe anti-depressants as I was expecting, he told me to buy a book. That book down there. Mindfulness for Dummies by Shamash Alidina. I'd like to think it was the first word in the title that made him recommend it to me and not the last! Still, I bought it and I've kept it with me ever since. I started to get really into it. It helped me to focus, calmed me down and slowed the world to a point that it was at a speed that was relatively comfortable, for me at least. Together with my journey into Buddism, they started to work on this head of mine. Somewhere along that journey I got lost (my wife was probably navigating). I stopped doing those little things that helped me. The simple things. I don't know why. I could sit here and type all the excuses in the world (I won't, don't worry) about why; there's not enough time, stressful mornings, I forgot to do it, the dog ate my homework, the list goes on. All I would say is that when my anxiety kicks in, not that it ever really goes away, I tend to forget to do the things what will help, mindfulness included. I've thought about ways to remind myself, flashcards, post-it notes, even to the point of getting a tattoo of a 'To-Do' list on my forearm. I haven't completely ruled it out. Maybe I just need to take a breath. If you've got any tips just let me know! On second thoughts....I wonder if there's a gap in the market for the 'Mindfulness for Mentalists' range of books (Copyright me!). Place your order now!