Extending a daily challenge!

When I was small, I was excellent at being alone with my thoughts. I would look at the sky and question myself, why is it blue? I would dive through waves and pretend I was a dolphin, and I would lie in bed and close my eyes, and think about what it was like to be me.

And it was pretty good. Because life was simple, safe, predictable and calm.

THEN YOU GROW UP AND BANG! There is just so much to worry about, to think about and to fear.

All of this fear can manifest itself into dreadful thoughts, but the thing is over the years, I have learnt to control them though the art of mindfulness.


So like yesterday, for example, I was sitting on the beach reading when a sea-gull landed in front of me. We indulged in a staring competition for a while.

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My mind works in mysterious was because as the competition went on, my mind started to whirl. Why did this sea gull land next to me, on a packed out beach and why is it staring at me? Why can’t I look away? How come I ended up being me, and that seagull ended up being a seagull?

Are these the thoughts of a crazy woman? Maybe…. but they were mine.

I went for a swim and found Horatio playing skim ball with Mr. Woog. I dugonged away, looking at him and again, my mind was there to join me in the wonder of being. How can a single cell, a root on the couch and perfect timing produce such a wonder? I looked at him later that night, big, brown and beautiful.

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Being a creative writer means that my mind is always on the go, and I have to consciously slow it down. But it doesn’t just apply to creative types. It applies to all.

Last night I started a conversation on the WoogsWorld Facebook page about being alone with your thoughts. It produced a very, very interesting dialogue.

This one I totally get…

“Usually weird random things like why do they put those knobbly thingies on steps so blind people will feel the step, they can make blind people trip. Or why do the black currents on the Ribena ad cheer when they are drinking Ribena? That’s like cannibalism. Or is the cool mode on the airconditioner cold air or is it when it’s cold outside?”

But there were a lot like these, which I totally get as well…

“That’s when my anxiety gets bad. Thinking silly things.”

“Crazy past crap comes up, imagination runs wild generally negative.”

“I hate my thoughts when I am alone, they run wild, distort things, make me sad.”

“Being alone in my own head is never a good thing. That is when my demons are loudest. I can drown them out the rest of the time. But when it’s just me and my thoughts…. A downward spiral ensues.”

And then there were the readers who have learnt to control them.

“I am alone with my thoughts every day, at different moments. It can be wonderful to turn things over, just ponder what’s going on, or what’s to come. I know some people struggle with it, with their inner dialogue, and if you asked me 25 years ago I’d answer differently, but I am so proud of the relationship I have with myself. I can pep myself up, chastise myself without falling into self-flagellation and I enjoy my own company. ”

Isn’t it interesting to be a being? We are so fucking complex and yet it should all be very simple. Everybody has a thing. Nobody is perfect. My mind can still be a total asshole to me, yet over the art twelve months I have learnt an important lesson.

I am in charge of my thoughts.

I walk 30 minutes every morning and I listen to this short meditation every night. Together it has given me such a gift. Oh, don’t get me wrong! My mind is still going to try and trick me every now and then, but it now gets spent to Spankytown. Now I am back to wondering, why is the sky blue?

Rather than “Why am I so hopeless….” or “We are all doomed!”

How do you sit alone with your thoughts?

Care to join me on my daily challenge?