Supposedly, you can’t do two things at once. – By @currantjones

Supposedly, you can’t do two things at once.

At least not well anyway.

Yet I’m almost always thinking two things at once. My brain is thinking, but also watching itself think. The decision between cereal and toast runs concurrent with thoughts about why I struggle with the decision every morning.

Part of me thinks of this as mindfulness. I am monitoring my thoughts and observing them from a distance. I am giving myself the chance to seize hold of negative trains of thought before they chug off out of the station. 

But I also worry this is over thinking. The vibrancy of thought that comes from throwing oneself fully into a situation is hardly possible if every moment is monitored by the mental equivalent of an overly officious swimming pool life-guard. 

Where I perhaps go wrong is that the second voice is a critical one. Certainly not an impartial observer on my decision making. I suspect the people at Headspace would like me to simply observe my thinking and let the things popping into my brain come and go. Instead I grab them and scrutinise. 

Yoga, or more specifically breathing, make the voices one. As I write, this sounds more and more like the description of a split personality. But in yoga my mind is very quiet. Not always. I will get distracted. I told the very nice Adrienne, from Youtube’s Yoga with Adrienne, to fuck off yesterday. She’d made grabbing your big toe while balancing on one hand look far too easy. But most of the time, with my thoughts on my breath, my mind is singular and still. 

Running works too. As I stride through a worryingly full park, my mind is focused purely on the feeling of my body; my breath, my legs, my feet. 

And so, I say to myself, these times when I am to thinking too hard are the time ideas are supposed to come. My mind is open and ready. But I am so busy not thinking anything at all, that I never think of anything. I finish a vinyasa with a clear mind, clear of everything, including ideas. I come to the end of a run having thought about … running. 

Perhaps this is the foundation. I have laid the groundwork upon which thoughts will build and ideas will flourish. 

Now just to figure out how exactly that building works.

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