Thursday, January 9, 2014

Senility, or cognitive indigestion? This well help.

Come here a minute. I have something to share with you.  Most will simply attribute this little missive to senility or cognitive indigestion, but a few may benefit.  More and more during these demanding times, my brain seems perpetually and unnecessarily busy. Sometimes I wish I could simply unplug it and take a breather.  It’s like it just gets stuck in gear, and I’d give anything to shift into neutral and let it idle.  I’m going to share something that frequently works for me.  First of all, I’ve always assumed that on those occasions when I was smiling, I was smiling because I was genuinely happy.  As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized the exact opposite is true. I’ve found that if I’ll just take a moment and smile, the smile alone is enough to make me happy. It’s like my mind figures if my face is happy, it may as well tag along. I see that look on your face; just bear with me for a moment. Okay, moving on, when nothing else relieves my aching neck, frayed nerves, and sense of impending doom, a few minutes of quiet time is called for.  If possible, I walk out to my cabin at Littlethicket.  I sit in my rocker, in the sunshine on the porch if possible. I take the deepest breath I can, hold it as long as I can, and then slowly exhale.  I repeat that several times.  I slide down in my chair so that my head is supported, close my eyes, and just breathe slowly and rhythmically for a few minutes.  Then I relax each muscle group, one at a time. At this point a mantra can be helpful.  Mantra is a term frequently used in relation to meditation, and while this could be considered a form of meditation, there’s nothing necessarily mystical or mysterious about it. A mantra is simply a word or short phrase that suggests something pleasant to you.  Simply repeat that phrase slowly, while envisioning whatever peace and joy it suggests to you, until all other concerns gradually fade from your consciousness. Simply put, a mantra occupies your mind, resulting in the reduction or exclusion of all other thoughts. I use the name of the main character from my novel, Obadiah Jeremiah Hezekiah Camp.  That name repeated slowly and in rhythm with my breathing, transports my thoughts to the peaceful tranquility of the mountains and absolute peace.  It isn’t necessary to say your mantra out loud, just thinking it is sufficient. Wherever your mantra takes you, spend some time there. Eventually you’ll feel your entire mind and body beginning to decompress. If you have a Deity, this is a good time to thank them for your blessings.  Personally, I thank Christ. Now, take another deep breath, slowly let it out, and begin listening closely to your surroundings.  If I’m at my cabin, I may hear the peep, chirp, and flutter of birds at the bird feeder, or the sound of a buck removing the velvet from his antlers on a sapling across the meadow, or the periodic tinkling of my wind chimes. Now open your eyes, take a deep, refreshing breath, feel the warm, healing sunshine pouring deep into your soul, smile as big as you can, and be happy.  SC    

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