I’ve learned to enjoy just thinking

March 1, 2024 by Joshua
in Awareness, Habits, Nonjudgment

I’ve held back on posting this discovery since I think people might confuse it with boredom or having nothing better to do and I didn’t want to be judged, but as I’ve cut out more media, I’ve found it enjoyable, relaxing, and rewarding just to think . . . to ponder, consider, reflect, introspect, daydream, and such.

I mean something different than meditating. I meditate too, as one of my sidchas, but meditation is about consciousness, awareness, patience, and such. This activity is more like solving problems that take some thought to disentangle. Figuring things out. Some of my best writing comes from it.

I don’t schedule it, but I don’t shy away from it. I’d been doing it for a while, but I think it kicked in more during that January spell of only two sunny days out of twenty-five when I barely had electrical power. I couldn’t type. I could write, but then it got too dark. So I’d think about what I wanted to write. A few times, groundbreaking ideas hit me that I doubt would have if I could have written.

I also hit a few epiphanies, like: how many problems exist that could be solved with some thoughtful, relaxed consideration, but that our culture doesn’t value thinking, relaxation, or consideration so people don’t try to solve them? Or that our culture makes thinking, relaxation, and consideration difficult, so people live with the problems?

I find the practice liberating. It feels like what time in nature is for. Isn’t it what we go to walk in the woods or along beaches? Imagine living a life where you don’t need to take a vacation because there’s nothing to escape from.

Greenwich Village Sun

EDIT: I sent this post to a friend who also wrote about solitude. I’ll add here a note I put in my email to him:

When you wrote about where to practice solitude, you didn’t mention nature. Sadly, I think most people alive today, including myself, don’t know what we’re missing without access to solitude in nature. It could be in a forest, on a beach, on a mountain top, in a canyon, etc. For most of human history until living memory, nearly all humans could walk to where they couldn’t see or hear other people. Today, I can’t imagine how far I’d have to walk not to hear cars or helicopters. Probably days.

But solitude in nature gives something nothing else does. I seek the closest I can in parks and noting the living plants, fungi, and non-domesticated animals around me. I also have answered a calling to help change our culture to where we restore that nature and access to it, not as something we fly to (and destroy in the process) but value and steward as dearly as any other freedom.

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