Welcome to the middle path
- Jana Svoboda, LCSW
- Sporadic photos and notes from a Psyche-midwife, cheerleader, anthropologist--aka clinical social worker in therapy practice. Photos are usually mine except for those of historical events/famous people. Music relevant to the daily topic is often included in a web video embedded below the blog. Click on highlighted links in the copy to get to source or supplemental material. For contact information, see my website @ janasvoboda.com or click on the button to the right below. Join in the conversation.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
She with her head in the clouds
While out walking tonight, the weather shifted rather quickly and the clouds were amazing. It's the second time this year I've seen what looked like the newly-named "asperatus" formation-- undulating, pitted looking waves that resemble a choppy sea. Beautiful, awe-inspiring sky.
I'm surely one of the 10-20% of the population born with an anxious gene. Evolutionarily, it would serve to have a stock of folks who tend to the signs around-- hyperalert for changes, radar always on, ready for action. So I notice things, and I pay attention to all sorts of stimuli others miss. It might look like ADHD (and I am probably the poster gal for that too) but it's more over-attention than lack of it. The plus part is I see the clouds. And a lot of other things-- tiny mushrooms, heart-shaped rocks, four-leafed clovers. I have a super sense of smell-- walking at night especially brings a cascade of information about people's laundry, recent cigarette break, cats in the garden, etc. I notice car bass thumping, airplanes passing, the tv show at the neighbors. I notice moods and gestures of people too-- what some might call "vibes" but my pragmatic brain thinks is just subtle information that predicts behavior in other.
The down side of this-- it can be awfully busy inside my brain.
To soothe my over-active sensorium, I head for nature when possible. I love being in the wild, with its lack of signage and its more lulling soundscape. I sleep better on my much-too-rare camp trips, especially when I've had a day of rowing or other physical activity and synched with the sun's up and down.
"It's not the hand you're dealt, but how you play the cards," someone said. We're made all kinds of ways. We don't have a lot of choice in it, but we can make use of who we are and find ways to decrease the burdens of our particular proclivities.
I'll write more about theories on the "sensorially acute" in the future. For interesting reading now, see these resources:
NY Times: Understanding the Anxious Mind
Self Test: Are you Highly Sensitive? by Elaine Aron. She is the author of several books on the subject, including "The Highly Sensitive Person's Survival Guide. Her website is here.
Two free short meditation downloads--using "brain-synch" technology-- can be found by clicking on this link at brainsynch.com.
Check out Richard Louv's book, The Last Child in the Woods. As far as I can tell, he coined the term "Nature Deficit Disorder", and posits a powerful argument for how nature can cure what ails us.
Shut Up Already: Read this short article from Wired mag on how rare quiet has become, even in nature, and what trouble that can cause. "Biophonist" Clive Thompson finds that disruptions in the natural soundscape can profoundly and negatively alter the wildlife within it.
Now go find some peace and quiet--