Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail. –Henry David Thoreau
In her book, The Artists Way, Julia Cameron recommends writing morning pages in order to cleanse the mind of extraneous thoughts before attempting to write anything of substance. For more on Cameron’s morning pages:http://juliacameronlive.com/basic-tools/morning-pages/
I find that the morning pages tool, along with meditating, does the trick. And I need these tools, because without them, I have what Buddha described as monkey mind– when the mind is filled with thoughts that are like drunken monkeys, chattering on endlessly, clamoring for attention. For many, some of these irksome thoughts are fear based, or questions about the future, or a replaying of the past. But often, they are just the pesky little thoughts that keep returning, or worse yet, multiplying.
Today, just this once, I am giving the drunken monkeys space on the page. I am telling myself that after this purge of random musings, I will get back to the business of writing. If you read on, you must forgive the insignificance of most of these ponderings. It is after all, the result of monkey mind.
*Why isn’t it expected that horse owners will clean up after their pets? It is unacceptable for dog owners to let their dogs excrete all over a public road without cleaning up after them, but horses can make a huge mess, even while walking through a residential neighborhood, and that’s okay. Why is that? Is it just better for the environment? Or maybe someone does come around and clean it up. I just don’t know.
*Why is it so hard to find jeans that actually sit at the waist? I don’t want jeans that sit at the hip, or just below the waist. I want the waist to be at the waist. I don’t have an aversion to fashion. I love clothes. I understand there are trends. But please, give me back my jeans. I just want jeans that have a waist at the waist.
*Sour dough bread is one of the only breads left that is actually good for you. Why is is so hard to find at my local grocery stores? I am thrilled that I can find quinoa and chia seeds almost everywhere now. Why must I hunt down a loaf of sour dough bread? Do I really have to go to California to find it? Or Wegmans?
*And while I’m on the subject of inadequate grocery stores, how am I supposed to reach the top shelves? At five feet one inch tall, I have resorted to climbing the shelves like Spiderman to reach an item. More than once. Sometimes another patron kindly reaches the thing for me, but more often I’ve shimmied up the shelving, risking things tumbling down. Risking myself tumbling down. Sometimes it feels dangerous. Is it assumed we are all tall enough to reach the top shelf? Because we’re not. Not all of us.
*Why do I keep having the OCD thought that I’ve left my dog out in the cold whenever I leave the house? I know some people have the more common fear of leaving the stove on. But every time I’ve left my house this winter, I think back to when I last saw the dog. Did I let him in after letting him out? Was he on his bed? In the kitchen? Occasionally, I’ve turned back around and checked. He’s always inside. When I don’t turn around and check, I let my mind go as far as wondering how I will explain to my family that I’ve accidentally killed the dog. This random thought is disturbing. I need to fix this one.