Sunday, September 20, 2009

No Kidding, No Thinking.

This morning I sat down at my desk with a blank mind. You may be wondering how's that possible? How can my mind be blank? It sounds like an infliction from a Science Fiction movie. Yet, that's exactly what I had first thing this morning: a blank mind. Of course, as soon as I realized that, I spoiled things by feeling my mind blank, then trying to describe the feeling in words. After all, I am a writer. It's a curse, but I have to express myself.

But let's think for a moment. Thinking is thoughts. Thoughts are words. Sometimes they come with special images and even their own exclamation marks. But what's to say that my best state of mind is when my mind is blank?

For the next few seconds, I'm going to go to that place again and see ....

The thoughts and imagines were replaced with a feeling. The feeling was of my mind empty.

I like it.

And strangely, I feel better now. Rejuvenated. Motivated. I think I'll have my Sunday breakfast, then do some edits on my manuscript Omatiwak: Woman Who Cries, then maybe I'll work on my new WIP, after that, I might just read Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin, again. (I'm kidding; I'd need a week)

Oh, I'm reading from Kiss of the Assassin again tomorrow night 93.1 CFIS-FM at 6 PM PST. I'm reading ch. 14, and it's only available online. CFIS's receiver can't be picked up outside the Prince George bowl area, as yet.

Have a great and inspiring Sunday, everybody. Try to stop thinking for a few moments and let yourself just be.


  1. I do my best thinking when my mind is blank. Well, I mean, at least I can't screw anything up. Right?

    May have mentioned this story before, but I've complained often that "sometimes I'd like my brain to take a break." It did last summer (on my birthday). Everything went blank - including my memory - spent the night in the hospital. Trans-something-or-other amnesia. I'd say it was weird, but don't remember it. Needless to say, I'll never wish for a brain rest again.

    Your lake looks like a piece of paradise. Is it deep? Any creepy stories about it? Hmmmm???

    Just in case - Your name is Joylene Butler - You are a Canadian Author - You wrote DEAD WITNESS & this is your blog. Wanna be helpful here.

  2. Thank you, Dave. I'd forgotten for a moment who I was. But thanks to you, now I remember!

    The lake is as deep as 365' in some places in the middle. It's 14 km long. Apparently, there is a monster living deep, deep down on the bottom, in the muck. Some say he surfaces once a year, takes a look-see, then dives back to the bottom. I guess he feeds on big chars.

    Personally, I doubt his existence, but just in case, I swim near shore only.

  3. I do this all the time, stop thinking. It's excellent treatment for an overstressed brain. If everybody did, we'd probably get a long a lot better.

  4. I like how you expressed that -- "let yourself be" -- and your pictures are gorgeous. There were times in years past when the chaos in my life was overwhelming and I would try to empty my brain of all thought by closing my eyes and imagining a sky of pure black velvet. I focused on that and let all the mental words go mute. It was only a temporary fix but it helped.

    I can't imagine amnesia like Dave experienced, even short term. Scary stuff!

  5. Just keep doing that, Careann, whenever life gets too hectic. What you described doing is exactly what it's all about. The more you do this simple exercise, the more peace you bring into your life. And the more peace, the more peace. It's a win-win situation.

  6. Have you read Eckhart Tolle's book THE POWER OF NOW? It's a wonderful little book about reconnecting with the spirit deep inside.

  7. I'm afraid "the more I do this simple exercise" the less I'd get accomplished, too, but it's good for a moment of calm when the schedule is threatening to overwhelm. When I need real peace I make that moment one of prayer. I agree, peace is a good thing.

    BTW, I listened in to your 'Kiss of the Assassin' reading on CFIS-FM last night... very well done once again! :)

  8. thanks for listening, Careann. I like the prayer stuff too, but along with peace it can works wonders. In my world, peace is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

  9. I've been getting into stillness for ten minutes every morning lately, and am really loving it. It was hard for me to start, though - not have any thoughts?? It was almost painful!

  10. This is a great blog. I have never been able to do that---turn my mind off---but what a great idea! I'm practicing---now when my husband looks at me and says what are you thinking, I can honestly say "oh, nothing"! Thanks Joy

  11. Dawn, I agree. If we stopped thinking, we'd be in the moment, and if we were in the moment, we'd see that life was quite wonderful.

    Janine, yes, I read Mr. Tolle's book. I wish I'd see his appearance on Oprah. Missed it.

  12. Hi Belle. Thanks for stopping by. I'm not doing my stillness near as much as I should these days. But I need to get back to it. As long as I take time out to be still every day, I seem so much more at peace.

  13. I found it very hard to do the first few times, Katt. I started off by concentrating on my breathing. Then I started sitting out on our deck and listening to the silence behind the noises. That was very hard to do. The first time I succeeded, I actually laughed out loud. But now I can be quiet anywhere. And instead of getting frustrated if I have to wait anywhere, in a line up, or in traffic, I take the time to listen to the silence inside my head.

    The best part. When I do this, I can feel God's Presence.

  14. Joy, I really like your comment about "you can feel God's presence". I, too, in the very early morning feel God's presence. I come in the office, open the blinds to get whatever light I can, because usually the sun hasn't come up yet, and I read the Bible and my devotions (Daily Guideposts), and I pray----maybe my mind is blank then, not thinking----only listening for the word of God to touch my heart and my day.


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