2.27.2012

In and out



I wanted to make this drawing all weekend because I've been thinking about a lecture I went to last week.  The lecturer talked about dealing with your inner critic.  She focused on the plasticity of our brains and how our minds adapt to what and where we focus our energy.  For a brief minute she spoke about the proportion of our thoughts that are directed inward, and the ones that go outward.  She passed the topic quickly, but I kept thinking about my own thoughts and what direction they are going in.  What direction should they even be going in?  Inward thoughts, the ones that parade around inside all the time, are vital, they make us who we are.  We should nurture those thoughts when they are good, let some of our inklings and wacky ideas become real.  Spend more time with those inside thoughts, don't lock them up or turn the lights out on them in exchange for doing something easy or habitual just because it is easy or habitual.

I picture our bodies like treasure chests where we have to do some digging around, polishing and trusting that what we think is beautiful, really is.  There are endless thoughts inside each of us. We are like a giant popcorn maker full of kernels, and when we give our thoughts the energy, time and friction they deserve, they start popping, and pretty soon, they are zinging all over the place, and what we thought was a small bowl of kernels is actually brimming. I love inward thoughts, the ones that brew deep inside us.  There are however, a barrage of negative thoughts that I feel like we are at war with daily.  The 'inner critic' that tells us a thousand different things that are probably not true.  We can take inventory of where these thoughts are coming from:  are they thoughts of comparison we inflict on ourselves?  are they coming from outside sources that we could get rid of?  How do we get rid of the bad kernels?  The ones that will never form into something light, but rather will grow ever blacker and harder the more we let them stay.


The speaker in the lecture was trying to make the point that all of us are inherently self-centered and thinking way more about ourselves, as in what other people are thinking of us,  than we do about other people.  I kind of agree, but in a way, I think the best place for us to spend some time is in our own head.  Maybe we need to do some sorting out, like a closet clean out.  Maybe there are thoughts that simply aren't serving us and when we stop to really confront them, aren't true.  Is it time to toss those out like that stretched out, thrifted shirt you've been keeping around for so long?  What about the surprise wonderful thoughts that have been shoved to the back of the closet, is it time to give them some credence?  Maybe we need some new thoughts all together.  Books?  Prayer?  a challenge?  a little time outside the old comfort zone?  nature?

In the drawing above, I'm not sure which marks would be the thoughts directed outward, and which ones would be the ones directed inward.  I'm working
for a sort of symbiosis, a happy equilibrium where I trust,
love and nurture my own thoughts enough to send them on a journey outward.

2 comments:

Cait said...

Often, I am my worst inner critic. I don't lack confidence in my abilities, it's not that, but I find myself comparing my life/child/fashion sense to others all the time. Thanks for the reminder to cleanse ourselves of the negative and welcome in the positive.

And I am cleansing my closet more and more every day thanks to you. I decided to get rid of most everything and get a brand-new serious grad student wardrobe for the fall. It is the BEST feeling, and I know my friends/strangers who are the recipients of my hand-me-downs are grateful for it as well.

Deja said...

Love that idea of the popcorn popper. Love these thoughts about the value of being in our own heads, if we can make it a lovely place in there. No other way to make it lovely than to hang out in it awhile and do some meta work. Thank you for the reminder.