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 my brain.
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?