Monday, January 26, 2009

Lost in a Vortex of Nothingness, or Mindfulness

One of my daughters has a hard time focusing. It could be for any number of reasons, but when we find her staring into space with a fork in her hand en route to the sink, we call this "being lost in the vortex of nothingness." I'm not so sure it's very different from hyperfocus, or the intense attention I feel when I'm able to occasionally access the ability to be in the moment.

Of course, my 4 yo has a hard time focusing too. But I think that's the definition of being four. I vividly remember when my oldest daughter was four - "Focus!" was my most frequent command.

I am trying to be focused on the moment. I find that it's easier when I have an audience who may be judging me, which is kind of awful. I'm trying to be mindful about chores, parenting, driving, singing eating. I find it's not only emotionally healthy, but that I have managed to make it a way to keep financial panic at bay. And to keep faith somehow.

I have some irons in the fire, but the present is not very good right now. But I just keep living moment to moment and it seems to help. I love Buddhist tenets. If only I were more disciplined.

It's the journey, not the destination. I really need to print out these simple truths and post them around the house, except that I'm out of toner and money to buy some. But tomorrow is a new day!

And today I worked on my upcoming speaking engagement and made some progress. Now, to avoid sounding "preachy!" Thanks to all in the blogosphere who post preaching advice. It is very helpful!


The Eclectic Cleric said...

This gives me a chuckle -- since it was a constant complaint about me when I was growing up ("here comes the dreamer..."), and still frequently happens to me today. My "moments of revery" (as opposed, I suppose, to "revelry"). Is that really so bad? So your daughter's head is in the clouds. There are lots worse places it could be (think "where the sun DON'T shine"). As for building castles in the air, we all know (or should) what Thoreau has to say about that. Now, give her the skills (and the tools) to put the foundations under them.

Kelly KH said...

Oh yes, dreaming is wonderful. I have my moments as well :)

ogre said...

Matt. 18-3:

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

And of course, the kingdom is within you.


Pardon me while I get lost in the void of nothingness...

Somewhere I've read about the Buddhist view that the path of the householder is harder than that of monk. I suspect that's an observation about all the distractions of life (priority interrupt).

But the idea of coming back to the place where you were and knowing it for the first time--being aware of it, conscious of it--may be the distinction.

Or maybe I'm just only half-awake, on my first cup of coffee, and temporarily (I hope) deranged from nonstop classes.

(amusingly, the word verification is "trickst")

Sue Delaware said...

Kelly--you are good at focusing--darn amazing at it, actually. Financial worries can be very, very heavy, and you amaze me with your ability to work through them. I'm hoping that you and Tom can achieve some resolution to them so you can feel free again. If one thing doesn't work, try another, right? Hang in there.

Anonymous said...

I'm chuckling, too, remembering how my middle daughter was the one we prod to "focus." She would get caught up in things and forget where she was--like the time we were crossing the street to get to the pizza place and she stopped in the middle of the street to watch an airplane overhead. Luckily, it was a side street. Funny, though, she's outgrown it and I am the one running from thing to thing to thing to other thing. Good luck.

Kelly KH said...

ogre, I do think that "new mind" is a bit like the biblical becoming like a child. I only had one cup of coffee today though and am running on waffles and greasy chips. My husband just called to tell me that the van he just bought keeps stalling and he's stranded. And I think that "Priority Interrupt" (is this a real term, or some brilliance you coined?) is the perfect name for the band I'm going to start someday...or perhaps of the book I'm going to write someday, so nobody else is allowed to steal it.

The thing about Buddhism is that it's so damn simple. It drives me nuts how stupid I feel when I read some of the most profoundly simple things! And yes, I do suspect that staying focused as a homemaker may have inherent challenges that monks miss out on ;).

uumomma, I am sure that she is germinating something wonderful and creative and that all of these vortex moments will pay off i a burst of brilliance one day soon!

ogre, I am often struck by the amusing verification codes these days!

Shingletown said...

Life is full of hurdles to be overcome - I sit here pondering - What do Buddhist monks do when their toner cartridges run dry?