No Thinking

I blame it on the stars. I’m a Gemini, so I’m verbally chatty and, unsurprisingly, I have a constant dialogue going in my head as well.  If not dialogue then a song or a prayer – never silence, never nothing.

It seems like I’ve known about the word “meditation” for all of my life.  In the last few years I have had experiences of moving meditation which I now think of more as a mantra (cutting the grass with my human powered mower is always effective).  But it was in Nia that I heard for the first time the concept of “no thinking.”  When we played with it in the experience, I couldn’t do it – AT. ALL.  In fact, I’m pretty sure the chatter volume in my head increased by 10 fold.  And I didn’t care, really.  I didn’t get how “no thinking” could possibly be useful to me.

Occasionally, over the ensuing years, I’d play with “no thinking” to see if I’d gotten any better at it (no).  And always there was, “what’s the point of not thinking?  It’s my thinking that is moving me forward to where I want to go.”  My  journey has been quite pleasant, fun and sometimes extraordinary.  “Thinking” = “success.”

Enter perimenopause and complete loss of connection to my purpose in life [for years].  It was (and sometimes still is) the most debilitating experience I’ve ever worked through.  I can rehab, rest, eat right, connect with friends and all the other “stuff” <aka actions> to feel better or get through or heal my body.  But not knowing why I was getting up in the morning was (and sometimes still is) my dark night.

I’d experienced this “why am I here?” dilemma before, but never to the menopausal level.  I was completely passionless, literally more interested in the couch, chocolates and TV than anything else.  In fact not really even interested in those, but it was an easy default.

Near the end of the monumental hormonal swings, a dear friend told me the one thing that she felt like had made the  most difference for her over the last year.  It was sitting quietly every day, even if it was only five minutes.  She was specific – not lying down or  walking – sitting quietly.  So I started to practice sitting quietly every day a couple of weeks ago.  I have to say, my life has been feeling easier.  The biggest relief is that I feel WAY calmer about not knowing “why I’m here” at the moment.  Now whether this is hormones balancing or quieter mind – I’m not sure.  Probably quieter hormones helped give space to explore quiet mind.  And most times, chatter mind is still ON and LOUD, but I simply notice my inhale, notice my exhale and whisper a mental “not now” to any thoughts that begin to enter.  (Just writing it out for you makes me feel better – thanks!)  I’ll let you know how it goes.

What about you?  I’d love to hear how you are taming the conversation in your head.  Or – how it feels when it’s empty up there. 😉  Please tell us your story below.

big hugs and quiet love,


2 thoughts on “No Thinking

  1. I taught a two-hour workshop once about centering and quieting the mind to a room full of federal executives. At the very end, I asked if anyone had any questions, and one very exasperated looking man said, “Why in the world would I ever want to stop thinking?” Hmm. Guess I better either change my approach or my audience. Thanks for this, Joy, a good reminder to sit on my cushion. xoxo

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