You may have noticed (but probably didn’t) that I completely forgot to write a post last time it was my turn. Thursday. Two weeks ago. And I very nearly forgot about it again this week.
The truth is, I am swamped and therefore forgetting things all over the place.
The word swamped, in case it has different connotations for you, conjures up for me the image of a boat. In a swamp. Submerged to the gunwhales or whatever those things are called. The oars got lost a long time ago, somewhere up shit creek. Alligators are circling. There’s a random shark, possibly left over from the whole Sharknado fiasco. And they all want something, mostly dinner.
Last weekend, when the Viking was helping me package up books to send out to Kickstarter backers (WAY later than promised, to the point where I’ve moved beyond guilt to a quiet horror at my own inadequacies) he looked up at me in frustration and said, “You’re not very organized.”
Gee, you think? A little friction ensued, as I’m well aware of my organizational deficiencies but don’t like to have them pointed out to me. But he’s right. I’m not very organized. He can just organize things in his head and then they are magically organized in the world around him – poof – without him ever seeming to touch anything to make it happen. Me? I think about organizing for a week, and then I spend hours arranging things only to discover that the system doesn’t work and then trying again. It takes effort. It takes time. And when I get stressed it all goes to hell in a hand basket.
I’m forever trying to repair my brain to make it more efficient so that I can do more in less time. Brains are much more adaptable than we used to think, and even brains the age of mine can learn new tricks. So I like to go to brain training things when I need CEUS to find out new ways to make my brain behave. One of the things I’ve recently learned about brains involves brain waves. In the extremely simplified version, if you’re anxious you produce a lot of really fast waves without any depth. And if you’re zoned out too far, you produce powerful waves that lack momentum. If you want to be focused, you need a nice balance of the two. (There’s that word again – balance. It keeps coming up.)
There are some very cool ways to switch up your brain waves. You can buy a system with glasses and headphones that shows you lights and plays tones at a speed and frequency that your brain will try to match. This is a very bright and shiny toy, and I want one but don’t have the money right now.
Meditation also works, and is free. A focused meditation will help to tune up a brain that’s feeling sluggish. An open meditation of just noticing things and letting them go will help to unlock an anxious or fixated brain. But meditation is kind of hard, at least for a beginner.
Which brings me to the easiest thing of all, which is breathing. I mean, I have to breathe anyway, right? All the day long. A breathing meditation, on the other hand, gets a little challenging. How fast should I breathe? How do I keep track of time? The guy teaching the brain training introduced me to a very cool website – www.doasone.com
What he recommended is to go to the site, click on ROOMS, click on CBP, and set the breaths per minute to 6. This, for most people, is the optimum breathing rate for achieving balance. Ten minutes a day has tons of health benefits, too. I’ve tried it, and I felt calm, alert, and focused afterwards. There are some other cool rooms too – for energizing or calming. And some live meditation rooms that I haven’t ventured into yet.
So I’m starting a new experiment. My plan is to make time to breathe and/or meditate every day, and to start creating space for yoga again while I’m at it. I’m hoping the result will be better sleep, clearer focus, and getting more done in less time, which will more than make up for the time spent doing the meditation and yoga.
I’d love to have company, so if anybody else wants to play, let me know. We could make it a group experiment and see what changes. Or not. But you might want to have a look around and see what you think.
Kerry is the queen of the misfit story. She writes fantasy that has its teeth sunk into reality, mystery that delves into the paranormal, and women’s fiction that embraces the dark and twisty realms of humanity.