Bring the quiet with you

Image: Benjamin Child

Back before I had a kid, multiple gigs, and real responsibilities, I had a pretty regular meditation routine. Back when I could just come home, plop down on the couch, throw my headphones in, switch on those Theta Vibes, and cruise to another dimension.

But then, I got married, we eventually had a kid, I started a writing business, my wife started a business, and slowly, my meditation time was edged out by the noise (and toys) of the day-to-day.

It was hard to keep it up because I always required a special, quiet place to meditate in. When ‘real life’ hit, this never happened, so I never meditated.

This was frustrating, so I set out to remedy the situation. What I realized was that I needed to change the goal of my meditation from finding a quiet place to meditate in to bringing the quiet with me so I could carry that powerful, silent presence with me in even the most hectic situations.

This was a true challenge, but when it worked, it was the most rewarding thing ever.

Don’t seek the silence — Carry it with you.

Well, the same thing applies with creative work...

I used to write soooo much. Before having a kid / multiple gigs / etc. I used to have my perfect little writing space and I’d come home, change into my writing clothes (what, you don’t have writing clothes?), brew coffee, and set fingers to keys at a moment’s notice. And I had plenty of time to spend with my wife when she got home. No deadlines. No crazyness. No stepping on dolls. Writing was my hobby.

But then ‘real life’ hit. And it became harder and harder to find the time to get into this high-maintenance creative space I once needed. But now, not only was this frustrating, it became a threat to our survival, in a way. Writing brought home the bacon now. I needed to write — perfect creative space or no perfect creative space.

You get it, right? We often wait for those perfect, quiet moments in order to dig in. We require a haven of isolation for productivity. But instead, we must bring the quiet with us so that we cease limiting ourselves to only doing it when the moment / atmosphere is perfect.

Yes, this is hard. Yes, I still love working when it’s perfectly quiet / the house is clean / the coffee is perfectly warm / there’s nothing else going on / the house is empty besides me / the candle is lit / the moon is at a perfect waxing gibbous / etc…

But I find myself seeing it as a fun challenge to fire off a few words on the page when I’d have thought it was impossible before.

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