To quiet a boisterous and blabby mind, you might need to do some looking at it.
Meg Hartley via my newsletter, Halcyon Tidings
* See end for source of subject/title quote! 🎶🎼 *
First, I need to welcome my new Substack subscribers as well as those imported from my old newsletter, Fuckless News! Welcome. This is Halcyon Tidings, a bi-weekly dose of real but uplifting takes on life, getting through it, and trying to be the best humans we can be. (Also much randomness.)
Ever hear your mouth bubbling out a reply to someone while your mind was still on this other thing that happened, or another that might?
The world can be so overwhelming, leaving most of us in a state of reaction, a kind of autopilot that leaves us trying to communicate around the contents and triggers of our thought soup. This results in a lack of awareness in regard to why we do and say. It’s how I lived much of my life, doing the thing my brain’s patterned to do (even if it’s not helpful or authentic) while my mind was a million miles away. The subject’s quote is from a song about always moving on to the next place trying to escape the deafening mental clatter, something I used to relate to on a visceral level. It felt like I could settle my headspace, my internal world, by adjusting my life situations and/or location (ironically remaining outwardly unsettled 😅). But, as they say, “Wherever you go, there you are,” and eventually I accepted that it’s an inside job.
That acceptance brought my sporadic focus on mindfulness into a meditation practice, something that’s given me firsthand insight into the value of consciously knowing what’s going on in one’s thoughts and being able to reflect on mental patterns (metacognition). This awareness facilitates a presence of the moment that means less of that mentally reactive “thoughts so loud” place society tends to create. (And encourage?) It’s not magic, of course, and I still know mental overwhelm, but consciously working on staying aware of my headspace helps me grab the wheel rather than falling into unconscious behavioral patterns—and, in such an unpredictable world, sometimes feeling (and being) even a little bit more in control can go a long way.
It’s meditation and mindfulness that really helped me on this path, but other ways to find presence can be: simply (but regularly) sitting somewhere and just letting your mind go off for a while, taking long walks in nature, or being absorbed in creating art, be it a painting, meal, or snow angel. There are lots of ways to allow more awareness into your headspace, helping to really get you into the moment.
Do your thoughts ever get so loud you can’t hear your mouth? Maybe it’s time to start thinking about your thinking. 💭
See ya (-ish) in a couple weeks,
How-To + Why Article, Meditation is the shit.
Artfully Autistic, Here’s What Autism Looks Like
Bookbaby, Underneath It All: Peeling Back Societal Bullsh*t to Reveal a More Whole You
* SUBJECT/TITLE QUOTE: “But my thoughts were so loud, I couldn’t hear my mouth” is a lyric from the 2004 song ‘The World At Large’ by Modest Mouse, an ideal anthem for Xennial wanderers in the overwhelming aughts.