This past week I took my mother and daughter
to New York City for a short girls’ holiday. We did
the typical touristy stuff. Ate too much food, walked a lot and even saw the
city via a hop-on and hop-off ferry. And I somehow managed to get a sunburn on
the tip of my nose which is red, hot and super-sensitive right now!
New York City is like Toronto on
crack. Take everything my wonderful city has and amp it up to the nth degree.
Then add 2.5 times the current population density and another 2.5 times the
construction and you start to get a feel of what I felt those few days. It was
electric and intense. A fantastic mess. Kind of like…my mind.
I was in fact, walking the terrain of
A thousand different priorities going 100
miles a minute in completely different directions. All good intended priorities,
some meandering, some with conviction, getting held up in massive gridlock. Is
it sheer volume that is the hold-up or some other bigger obstacle that is the
cause? Or perhaps it’s both.
Sometimes there is a massive back-log somewhere
deep inside, like a corrugated pipe underground that has burst, spewing all
sorts of water and garbage onto the road. Other times it’s the re-surfacing of
the other buildings and ideas that are juxtaposed to the traffic. A collision
of what is important versus what is urgent. You need to man the traffic flow
and let everyone and everything take its course, which slows everything down. But, there is no other alternative, is there?
It’s important and fascinating to be able
to step out of your head and watch your mind work. Because the mind unleashed
and unsupervised can become its own machine; its own loud, crowded, metropolis
that may or may not have any meaning.
The detachment from your thoughts, as
temporary as it may be, is critical to not burning out or breaking down. This I
know. I know this because I lived it and have been witness to it over the past
week (thanks in part to a mindfulness/meditation class I attended this week).
I love New York City, as I love my mind.
But you have to step outside of it all in order to breathe, forgive, gauge,
direct and figure out the journey you want to take. I’m trying. It’s all any of
us can do right?