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Spo-fans know that one of my resolutions 2022 is a daily dose of ‘5 minutes doing nothing”. I am to still still, sans music or podcast episodes, and just ‘be’. It is hoped a) this develops in time to longer periods and b) this does me ‘good’. I suppose there is an element of a challenge to it, not unlike learning how to sew shirts: I have no experiences doing so, can I do this? it would be nice for my hummingbird mind to have rest.

Over the weekend I started my my endeavors by lying down in quiet with my eyes closed. I set an alarm for five minutes. This went OK; it was a start. On the other hand, I was tired anyway and I didn’t have anything pressing. I believe one time I fall asleep, which isn’t exactly the point.

Yesterday Monday I thought ‘what if I did the opposite?” meaning in the middle of doing everything I stopped to do nothing, which is what I did. At noon or so, I closed the door to my office, set an alarm for five minutes, turned the computer to ‘sleep’ mode, sat in my office chair – and closed my eyes.

Oh the horror.

I’ve been told ‘letting your mind go blank’ isn’t going to happen and don’t aim for it.. I couldn’t if I tried. perhaps a minute into the endeavor, I felt a swarm of bats bouncing about the brain. flooded with things I ought to be doing and things to do as soon as this was over. I tried to focus on my breathing, yet it was like trying to relax knowing there is a mosquito hovering over you. Worse, my mind started turning the experience into a blog entry! I was simultaneously trying compose and not compose.

I began to get squirmy; was my five minutes up yet? I forbade myself to open my eyes and have a look-see at the stop-watch to know how much time was left. While the bats and mosquitoes whizzed about and my inner-scribe was trying to recorded into a blog entry, I tried focusing on keeping my eyes close and not peeking. Then the story of Orpheus and Euridice came onto the stage. For thems not familiar with the Greek myth, Orpheus was allowed to bring his dead wife back to the living on the proviso he doesn’t turn back to look at her during their percent up from Hades. Just as he nears the top he gets anxious, turns around (as he could not hear her) and blows the deal. Damned (pun intended) if I were to do otherwise. This tension mounted until I knew I was no longer benefiting from this exercise. After all there was no gom jabbar at my neck. So I opened them.

I had set the alarm for 5 minutes, but hadn’t started it.

I don’t know how long I was in this state. The iPhone said the time was 12:07; if I started around noon time then I lasted seven not five minutes. Either way it was deucedly uncomfortable, but I was pleased as Punch for my endeavor. I got back to work and found no one had died and the world hadn’t stopped spinning for my absence. Good to know.

I will keep doing this. Rome isn’t built in a day, and the Spo-mind doesn’t calm down in a day either. I think with practice it will become easier and my brain less batty. Let us hope so.

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January 2022

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