Mojo Monday 9: Wordless Questions

On the nature of questions, thought and a bit beyond

Unless you’re in a philosophy class, you probably don’t ponder the nature of what a question is. And even if in a philosophy class, you’re likely taught to know great thinkers and their works; apply that to thinking in current times and maybe, just maybe reflect upon how this might apply to your life. But as to the question of the origin of a real question, and in particular, how that originiates inside ones being – that is, from ones subjective experience – that isn’t taught much in school, or really anywhere.

Ad to this the fact that popular understanding of the meaning of a question is uninspiring and not reflective of life’s splendor. Here’s an example of what I mean. The English (online) Oxford Dictionary offers the following definitions:

A Question (noun)

A sentence worded or expressed so as to elicit information; A doubt about the truth or validity of something; A matter requiring resolution or discussion; A matter or concern depending on or involving a specified condition or thing.

Questioning (verb)

To ask questions, especially in an official context; To feel or express doubt, raise objections.

It’s not that these definitions are wrong, it’s that they are incomplete and reflect nothing of the heart and pulse of a great question – the kind that are born raw and wordless. The kind that make us human and remind us that we are human…just by virtue of the fact that we can feel the impulse to wonder.

So you can imagine my thrill when reading about what Socrates had to say about the vibrancy and power of a question in a book titled, Why Can’t We Be Good, by Jacob Needleman. One section in particular, grabbed my attention because it talked about the possibility of questions that arise when thought (eg., the busy-mind) slows down or even stops. Needleman describes experiences in nature, among other situations, where he had early impressions of this quality of stopping inside that allowed for something different.

And so I ventured on my morning walk with the idea in mind of attending to what in nature compells me to stop, and be still inside. A simple experiment. But as the saying goes, that which is simple is often not easy.

And this is no exception.

Glorious!

Reference

Why Can’t We Be Good, by Jacob Needleman, 2007 Penguin Group.

http://www.jacobneedleman.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mojo Monday 8: Returning

Returning to do what you love, what calls you

Last week I missed making the Mojo Monday video because of the very thing I’ve been talking about: procrastination and mind chatter. So this week I’m focusing on what it means to return to do that thing you want to do but are challenged to do – for whatever reason.

When I was a little girl I developed a bad habit of knocking my head into the wall repeatedly. I did it out of frustration; psychologists call it self-soothing. I eventually stopped (mom told me that I couldn’t go to slumber parties with my girlfriends unless I stopped), but I still have a zillion ways that I fight with the wall.

How do you fight the wall, or rather fight reality? Do you force it or just walk away and forget the whole thing? Or do you find a way to work with the reality you’re given?

A poem about showing up

The challenge of writing
Is to see your horribleness on page.
To see your terribleness
And then go to bed.

And wake up the next day,
And take that horribleness and that terribleness,
And refine it.
And make it not so terrible and not so horrible.
And then to go to bed again.

And come the next day,
And refine it a little bit more,
And make it not so bad.
And then to go to bed the next day.

And do it again,
And make it maybe average.
And then one more time,
If you’re lucky,
Maybe you get to good.

And if you’ve done that,
That’s a success.

by Ta-Nehesi Coates

Mojo Monday 7: Mindchatter Be Gone!

Mindchatter be gone!

I think most creators, inventors, artists and makers struggle with mindchatter and self-doubt at one time or another. The idea that you have a bolt of inspiration, sit down and create easily is romantic and not based on real life in my opinion. Even if it’s easy to start, sooner or later, mind-chatter creeps in.

So the question isn’t how to avoid it or not have it, but to start something and persist anyway, whether or not there’s mindchatter.

But how?

Something to try

Next time you start something and find yourself taken by the over-critical inner voice, find a way to surprise or shock that all -to-familiar voice. If there’s one thing that you can count on with mindchatter, it’s that the comments are predictable. You just might discover something amazing.

Mojo Monday 6: The Dance of Procrastination

The dance of procrastination

You’ve got that thing that you want to do; that project you want to start, class you want to take, conversation you need to have, or idea to bring to life. You set the time and space aside to do it and … you don’t do it. It’s not that you’re sitting around doing nothing. It’s that you’re doing everything except what you most want (or need) to do.

I can relate.

Here’s my dance of procrastination. It’s not very pretty, but it’s all mine.

Have you got a dance of procrastination?

Something to try

Next time you’ve got something you want to start, but you find yourself stalling, witness without judgement what you do instead. Seeing yourself in the moment can be a useful start to changing behavior.

Mojo Monday 5: Dancing with Trees

 

Tree Power

It’s a well established fact that being in nature is good for body, mind and soul. But when in nature, do we listen, or do we stay plugged in to our music, our thoughts, our need to label and define what we see. The power of nature is that it provides conditions to listen and by doing so bring inside oneself a moment of not knowing, not being in the head. What a gift that is.

Resources

There are hundreds of tree deities, here is one of many links to inspire:

https://steemit.com/deity/@new-age-myanmar/tree-deities-around-the-world

 

Mojo Monday 4: Ways to Wake Up!

The phenomenon of waking up

Everybody in the world wakes up in the morning, but each one of us experiences it uniquely. If you consider all the different causes of waking up, from bad dreams or eating too much icecream the night before to loud sounds outside your window to the person sleeping beside you who snores. If you consider all that, you realize that waking up is not so much done by us, but that we are encouraged or helped to wake up by the world – both internally and externally.

That takes the pressure off somehow.

Message behind the message

There is no shortage of advice on how to start your day in a way that makes you feel like you’re in control. Set your alarm at this hour, meditate for this amount of time, drink this kind of smoothie etc. But what if your day doesn’t start off under your control? What if your neighbor is loud, life’s pressures overwhelm you so much you can’t sleep or your roomate decides to play a prank by throwing ice over you? What if life doesn’t happen according to plan starting the moment you wake up?