Are you a deep thinker? Do you ponder and philosophize? How often do you consider profound topics prompted by nothing beyond your interest in exploring an idea or some doctrine?
Despite my 6 undergraduate credits in Philosophy, I don’t spend much time contemplating. I’d like to believe that I’m thoughtful person, but I’ve come to realize recently that I am simply not a person full of thoughts.
I’m a doer, not thinker.
Maybe there’s an element of curiosity I’m lacking. Perhaps I’m just not that smart. I’m not really sure why I’m disinterested in puzzling over questions and ruminating about various beliefs, but I imagine it has something to do with my childhood.
Yesterday afternoon, I (virtually) attended a presentation about mindfulness, finding balance and setting intentions. It all sounded great. Who wouldn’t want to develop practices to maximize daily enjoyment and productivity?
But, it also sounded incredibly foreign to me.
I reflected (that’s a positive step, right?) on the instability of my childhood and the impact upon my brain’s development. It’s kind of difficult to invest mental energy into intellectual growth when one’s mind is occupied with far more practical matters, like how to be warm when the oil tank is empty or cooking dinner when there’s no propane and the water pipes are frozen anyway.
It seems like my brain has been trained in a different way. My intellectual capabilities are more founded in enduring than exploring. Teaching myself to project into the future in order to anticipate, and maybe even avoid, problems was a life skill I knew I needed to master at an early age. To have a hope of thriving, one first must survive.
It was that basic.
In recent years, I’ve achieved a level of comfort that, in theory, permits more brain cells to be devoted to greater intellectual pursuits. But, it doesn’t come easily to me. I’m impatient and frustrated by lengthy explanations and contemplating ideas not grounded in reality. It both intimidates and bores me.
I’ve got other things to do.
So, I’ll continue to let my mind race while I run and try to encourage my brain to rest during yoga. When travel once again becomes possible, I’ll take off and visit places that inspire me to consider how others live, while also absorbing images that stimulate my brain. That’s what works for me.
After a recent meditative reading during vinyasa class, I was inspired to purchase the book from which the reading had been sourced and have been attempting to take in and reflect upon the daily “soul freeing” readings. They’re only a paragraph or so long, which I find processable and maybe even a little inspiring. I also appreciate the idea of planting an idea and revisiting it during the day. That I can do.
Just because I’m not deep, doesn’t mean I’m shallow.