Cone of Silence

I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.

Albert Einstein

No, that is not a lampshade on her head, but it sure looks like one doesn’t it?! Oh… the days of my youth and the embarrassing moments like that. Ha! Anyway, it’s actually a cone of silence and I’ve got a good reason for wearing one of those lately.

I noticed the other day that some of my more recent posts resemble conversations that I have with myself. Not out loud, of course, but in my head. This post is not much different, but it’s about a new discovery for me so I hope you stay with me.

I often mention that I live in a sort of isolation, but when I saw this Einstein quote I realized that it’s not isolation at all, it’s solitude. There is a big difference. And I don’t live alone either, my mom and youngest son live here as well. I guess whenever I refer to isolation I’m talking about neglecting social connections, outside of the family that I live with. And I have since had two awesome get-togethers with my friends so I’m making real progress in that department.

Regardless, I loved this quote because it made me see one of the reasons that I enjoy this so-called solitude so much… because I’m older now. I imagine that if I was twenty, thirty, or even forty, I might regret being such a homebody- but I’ve reached the age where I know what I enjoy and I know what makes for a better quality of life for me, especially being slightly introverted- or at least living in my head a lot.

Which brings me to the cone of silence. I really do talk to myself in my head and, to be honest, most of the time I don’t make a lot of sense. I think about the past, I imagine the future, I doubt and question myself (which is what you read here sometimes in my posts), and the end result is a lot of unnecessary stress or anxiety.

Just after pondering this quote, and realizing that I question myself too much, I started reading The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle. I discovered that when I stop overthinking, or try to stop thinking at all, I experience a calm that is new to me. My focus has always been on changing my thinking – removing negative thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts – but I never really thought about not thinking at all.

I’m not talking about being brain dead either. It’s about being present, and I’m learning some things about myself in this “not thinking” mode. I realized that my A.D.D. (also knows as an attention span of about 2 minutes, at most) is caused by an inability to shut off my own thoughts – which not only take over but ran rampant. Whenever I’m in my head, I’m not present… my body is there but “I” have left the building. And that is probably 95% of the time if not more.

So, that’s where my idea about the cone of silence came from. When doing some of the exercises he mentions (and I’m only a few chapters in), I somehow imagined this cone over my head and I had to laugh. It reminded me of the story of a man who started wearing a tinfoil hat to keep out mind-readers, or brainwashers, or something like that.

But I was amazed at how my thoughts have been easier to control. One thing he suggests is closing your eyes and thinking “I wonder what my next thought will be.” I tried it and it literally stopped my thoughts for a bit. If anyone else has read the book and has any input I’d love to hear it. Some of the things he says are a bit wild, but a lot of it makes sense.

Basically, I think it’s about guarding your mind, and I had already learned some of that through recovery. And I think that Einstein’s quote expresses how creativity and discoveries are more likely to come through when your mind is quiet.

Anyway, I thought I’d share this because I’m excited. I’m learning to quiet my (exhausting) mind, to be present, and to accept where I am, right now. And it is liberating.

That’s about all for now. It’s time to put on the cone and say goodnight.

Peace & Love, and I’d love to hear from anyone who has read the book and has thoughts on it! Or non-thoughts. 🙂

Emotions: Loneliness

“A season of loneliness and isolation is when the caterpillar gets its wings. Remember that next time you feel alone.”

Mandy Hale

I knew it was only a matter of time before my images would be less abstract. Don’t get me wrong, but there are only so many lines, shapes, and blobs that I can play with before temptation sets in and I want to see something “real” taking shape. Not that a human butterfly is realistic, mind you, but it’s definitely more literal than my last few emotions.

The winged woman was something I created a while back, but it was a black and white vector image and there was very little feeling behind it. I saw, however, that her eyes and mouth seemed to express loneliness. “How could a butterfly be lonely?” I thought. “They’re far too beautiful to be lonely.”

That got me to thinking about what it feels like when you see something beautiful… like an orange and red sunset, an endless field of poppies, or a crystal clear turquoise ocean. When you get to witness something that amazing, you want someone else to experience it too. You want to bottle up that water… or pick a bouquet… or grab your camera and capture that flaming sky… so you can bring it all back, and share it with someone you love.

Since I really do love my solitude, that’s the only time loneliness really gets to me—when I experience something fabulous or magnificent and I’m all by myself. I can never really share that moment with someone who’s not standing there next to me. I can haul whatever back I think might work… but that bottle of water won’t look like the beach, the flowers will eventually die, and the photograph of the sunset—no matter how great the shot is—will never be as breathtaking as the real deal.

Anyway… that was my take on it, and that’s the emotion I went with as I added effects and color to my original illustration. I kept hesitating though, because originally I told myself that I’d only use positive emotions for this experiment. And then I found the quote above, by Mandy Hale, and was reminded that there’s a bit of beauty in our struggles and storms.

It’s no fun when we’re in the middle of them, but as we trudge forward, to the other side, we find strength, we find resilience, and we find courage. And then, like the caterpillar… we find our wings.

Colorful Leaves

In the Quiet

In the Quiet,
I’m unheard, I’m unseen,
I can run, I can twirl,
If I want… I can scream.
Just me and my thoughts,
Far away from the crowd,
Dancing in color,
And singing out loud.

I wanted to whiz past “Q” tonight. I LOVE Quiet. I don’t think quiet is all about lack of noise either. It’s also about peace & tranquility—like quieting your mind. Quiet, for me, is also about solitude. It’s about delighting in your alone time, and enjoying your own company. If you can’t entertain yourself how can you possibly entertain others?!

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just old age. 😉 There was a time when the quiet made me uneasy. I couldn’t relax unless I was in the middle of the action. Things have certainly changed!

Anyway, that’s about all for now. Thank you for reading! I’ll see you around soon for the letter “R.” Only nine letters left in the row…

Now back to the quiet I go.