I haven’t written about Buddhism or meditation in quite a while here. For that matter, I haven’t been writing much of anything here lately. There’s a reason for that-it’s because I haven’t been practicing at all. I’ve completely fallen off that wagon. I haven’t meditated in over a year, I don’t read any books about it any more, I unsubscribed from the podcasts. That part of my life faded into the past.
As a result, I’ve found myself falling into many of the bad mental habits I used to have. Impatient. Easily frustrated or annoyed. More withdrawn, crawled back up into my shell. Lazy and unmotivated. Depressed more frequently. None of it is as bad as it was when it was at it’s worst, not by a long shot. But it’s crept back into my life more than I’d like. Much more.
There’s also the creativity. My right brain has been asleep for quite a while. I only write here once or twice a month, I can’t recall the last time I sat down with a pencil and drew something, all the grand design projects I had have grown dusty, I haven’t finished a song in over a year. I just haven’t felt artistic at all.
The two things are not unrelated, I think.
Looking back, I was at the most creative I’d ever been in my entire life when I was also the deepest into Buddhism. I was on fire! I really believe that the mindfulness, the meditation, the mental peace, the introspection, all of that. I believe that was the fuel for the engine of my right brain. It was the mental equivalent of a good workout. I couldn’t have climbed any mountains without dedicating myself to working out regularly, why should I expect to be creative if I don’t supply my mind with the exercise it needs?
I’ve had this on my mind for a while, but just haven’t been motivated to do anything about it. Like anything with me, I have to wait until my brain says it’s time. When discussing my practice with someone recently, I realized I referred to everything in the present tense, as opposed to the past tense I used in my internal monologues. That was the trigger. My brain decided it was time. For the creativity, there was-what I thought at the time at least-an external trigger. In hindsight, I think that my right brain was ready to wake up and created that trigger. It was jumping up and down and waving it’s hands about. “Hey! I’m over here! See?”
So, it’s time to step back into it. I’m going to be more conscious about sticking to the mental disciplines of Buddhism this time, which is where I started last time. But I got too deep into the culture and spirituality of it last time, and that’s eventually what drew me back out of it. My left brain fought back and knocked ol’ righty out cold. But I also recognize that all this has to come from the inside. I can’t rely on the universe to hand me things, external stimuli can only take you so far. The real stuff can only come from within.
So, yeah… I’m off to exercise my brain a bit.