A Thought Exercise To Manage Mind Space
Managing motherhood, ambition, marriage, relationships and self takes serious mental capacity. At any given time, I imagine five parallel (or zig zag) streams of consciousness filled with action items, questions, plans, intentions and worries about any and all those areas of my life. When people visualize balance, I don't think this is so much what they have in mind.
I read a brilliant way of thinking (yes, more thinking) about this. Instead of trying to suppress thoughts or force them to bubble up only in the exact right time or place, Buddhists, neuroscientists and mindfulness experts, will tell you to that it's your brain's job to produce your thoughts. Your job, as they put it in this piece, is as the CEO.
You’re not your brain; you’re the CEO of your brain. You can’t control everything that goes on in “Mind, Inc.” But you can decide which projects get funded with your attention and action.
In looking at my husband, who makes a very strong real-life CEO (in my humble opinion), I find he's incredibly good at not getting carried away with any of the issues or plans or wants that crop up at different levels of his organization. He will certainly pay mind to everything but only focus on the select few that are useful in the company's current state.
I love the framing that having thoughts, like having concurrent issues in a company, is normal and efficiency and happiness comes from deciding which should be taken seriously. So when my brain is bouncing from planning a hypothetical weekend away with Dan to ruminating on if I spent enough time with my friends at that party or remembering that I need to look into Bodie's nursery school options, I can focus on that last useful tid-bit and let the other stuff pass through lightly.
Does the concept of being the manager of your thoughts come naturally to you? Do you have other ways of thinking about mindfulness? I'd love to hear! xo