100 Days of Something: 22

Wrapping up the thread on mindfulness.

Normally I think of mindfulness in terms of attention and presence, but on a podcast I was listening to last week it was framed as “knowing what’s going on in one’s mind without being carried away by it”.

That could also be put as “being able to hold out on discomfort in order to see what’s going on”. Eric Meyer’s lesson in The Manual touched on something similar – putting aside temporary discomfort in order to do something remarkable. I was wondering about what happens when that temporary discomfort slides into becoming a somewhat permanent state.1

I guess the thing is to make sure to reach the point of insight before being numbed by the discomfort.

  1. Joni Mitchell once compared her use of unresolved chords to unresolved emotional states that might last for several days. 

100 Days of Something: 18

Mindfulness is the ability to know what’s going on in your mind without being carried away by it.

That’s the phrase that jumped out at me from a podcast I was listening to this morning. And part of not being carried away by whatever it is you’re caught up in, is being able to tolerate the discomfort of the moment for long enough to see what’s going on. That ties in a little with Eric Meyer’s lesson from a few days ago.

Another aspect of being able to discern what is going on, is being able to put aside the stories that we inevitably wrap everything up in. Easier said than done. Putting aside those stories is hard. I guess that’s a story too.

100 Days of Something: 9

“Well, I’ve always thought it’s worth a little temporary discomfort to get to do something remarkable.”

That’s the lesson that Eric Meyer learnt from his grandfather and the lesson that he shares in the latest issue of the beautiful online publication that is The Manual.

Discomfort is something we often come up against when creating art, but push on through with the hopes of reaching that remarkable something. Sometimes the temporary discomfort is stretched, and then stretched again. It starts to look more like a constant state. You get used to living with it – at some point you’ll get to the something.

And that’s not really the point.