I think to some extent, we are all addicted to thinking. It’s such an acceptable affliction. Excessive thinking is so common. Most of us are doing it, and no one’s likely to come at us with an intervention. We are free to think our lives away.
But here’s the most enticing reason to quiet the mind clutter:
I love this word.
I love the concept of it. Bisociation is the best thing ever.
Here is Webster’s definition of BISOCIATION: the simultaneous mental association of an idea or object with two fields ordinarily not regarded as related.
The pun is the simplest form of bisociation. Puns are fun. I love them. But bisociation is so much more than that.
Bisociation leads to serendipitous discoveries in science (think Newton’s theory of gravitation that was inspired by the falling apple), engineering, art, and literature. Literature! How novel! (did you catch that pun?)
Bisociation can also solve an ordinary problem or spark a novel idea in any area of life, even the most ordinary. It allows us access to ideas and answers to problems and inspirations that just aren’t available to our rigid, overthinking brains.
Ideas become available when we toss the mind clutter, and get mindful, and still. After struggling with something, if we completely disengage from what we are trying to solve, we stand a better chance of solving it.
In other words, when our conscious mind just shuts the heck up, we may finally hear the whisper or the jolt of an idea from the subconscious mind. And that is brilliant. Because we are brilliant. Or at least we have access to brilliance.
Ironic, isn’t it? When we finally stop trying to figure something out, we get our answer.
Bisociation seems to happen out of the blue, often triggered by something unrelated to the issue we are solving. So it is in our own best interest to let go, and do something that brings us into the present moment, whatever that is for us.
The subconscious mind has so much more to draw on than our rigid, chattering, conscious minds. So how do we access it? How do we access mindfulness? How do you?
Young children are naturally mindful all the time. They live in the moment. But as we get older, at least for me, it takes more concerted effort to be mindful. Often it’s when we’re engaged in a favorite pastime. Meditation, yoga, journaling, jogging, walking, dancing and other forms of exercise can induce mindfulness. So can knitting, gardening, or any repetitive task that engages the mind just barely. A window opens to the subconscious and there’s no telling what bright idea might come through.
Any form of self-care, the more the better, will clear the way for this inspiration. De-cluttering your environment helps clear the head as well. If you don’t believe me, just go clean out a closet and see what happens.
Ideally, we’d be so good at being mindful that we wouldn’t need anything to get us there. I’m not. I can get so lost in my head that I trip over what is right in front of me. I depend on certain things, like yoga, to pull me back into the present. So perhaps I’ve traded an addiction to thinking to an addiction to yoga, but I think it’s a healthy swap so I’m keeping it.
When I’m mindful, my writing flows so much better. And when I’m not, I am just thinking about it too much which makes it harder to do it.
So here’s to all the peaceful and fun things we do that get us back into the present moment. Here’s to letting go of the struggle, and to all the brilliance that is ours when we do.