I’m often asked by readers of this blog, how did I learn to think. It started years ago when I was growing up. In my childhood, television was pretty restricted to Walt Disney Hour, once a week. I only otherwise watched TV while babysitting after kids went to sleep. As a result, to entertain myself I read. Everything & anything…including Encyclopedia Britannica volumes A to Z. I also enjoyed listening to radio. I loved the nightly broadcast on Mystery Theater. It’s kind of funny writing this— because one might think I grew up in the 1940s…but no, this would have been during the late 1960s-70s. My father said little, but he had quite a lot of facial expressions that I was constantly trying to “read” to interpret the general mood and family dynamic. I wasn’t much of a sleeper…and I’m still not. While in High School, with babysitting money, I purchased a cheap plastic stereo system and a pair of good headphones. I put it in our family living room so my mother could listen to music during the day. At night, I’d put on those headphones and rock myself into a meditative state. I drifted in semi-sleep until sometime around 2am, when I’d go up to bed, waking at 6 for school.
Today I wake an hour before anyone else in my household to spend my first half hour of every morning (with a cup of coffee!) thinking exclusively about one subject. While it seems simple, it’s sometimes ridiculously hard. I recommend everyone try it. Start with 5 minutes. Really think about something you find interesting. Maybe it’s a flower, a book you want to write, the window you’re looking out, an article in a newspaper or a book passage. The subject of your focus isn’t important—but I usually try to focus on something I think I want to do. You don’t need to actually SEE anything — it’s more important that you visualize something. In your mind describe it in full detail. How you imagine it expanding. Senses you feel. What it symbolizes. What uses could be made of it. From this simple beginning, work up to contemplating a problem. IF you like to draw— even if you think you like to draw— do this exercise with a pencil and paper. Randomly sketch words, lines, images of whatever you’re thinking.
The goal of this is to practice concentration. Once you master it, the benefits are immense. My favorite benefit is the ability to read faster with greater recall. It also sharpens every aspect of thinking. IF you’re comfortable, tell me what you’ll choose to focus on.
This is Silver Disobedience™ #philosophy @DianGriesel @SilverDisobedience #icon #model @WilhelminaModels @ApertureTalent
#Photograph by Gordana Kojic
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