Last week I said that Patrick McDonnell’s comic strip should say shtop thinking negatively. Writing that blog had me pondering how much time I spend just thinking about my life – past, present and future.

I am committed to deepening my self-awareness. I do wonder, however, if my search for deeper self awareness doesn’t sometimes slip into merely being self absorbed.

Thinking many times keeps me from being present in the moment. I have to say that many times I’m not present to the joy of daily living. In my mindful meditation training, the exercises we were taught included being consciously present to the joy of washing dishes; being present to the contact with the ground my feet make each step on a walk; and staying fully aware of each bite of a meal. One exercise was taking several minutes to eat one raisin so I could experience the texture and the flavor of each small nibble. The only time since then that I have been fully present with what I eat is when I arrive at the last jelly bean in the bag.

This is a problem – I think too much. All I do is think, ponder, worry, wonder and wander. I realize that I don’t have enough activities in my life where I stop thinking. Except for reading mystery novels, I don’t have a diversion hobby that helps me stop thinking. Cathy is a master gardener. This plus her enjoyment of just puttering around the house gives her a daily respite from too much thinking.

Years ago when I was training for triathlons, my trainer had me on a six day training schedule with one day of rest. She said our muscles need a day of rest in order to perform at their peak. The same thing holds true for my brain. In order to operate at peak performance, it needs restful moments to refresh and rejuvenate itself.

I am making a commitment for 2013. Less thinking more intentional goofing off (I mean refocusing my brain from thinking to being.)

With this in mind, I recently purchased a Mazda Miata which gives me immense driving joy. When driving it, my face splitting grin keeps me from thinking.  I am also committing to a more structured, goal driven, daily workout schedule where my focus is on my body, not my mind.

If you are also someone who thinks too much, rekindle your interest in a diversion hobby and make it a thought neutralizing focus of your daily life. Your brain will appreciate it.



If you find these blogs helpful, pass them on to someone who can benefit from changing their thoughts.