It’s not Meditation — It’s Introspection for Peace and Clarity

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black & white butterflyWhat is your favorite way to rejuvenate and gain insight into your life and your problems? I could say “meditate,” but that tends to scare people, so we won’t use that word, even if it would be appropriate. For me, it’s often folding laundry. I know that sounds silly, but I’m in a small room with nothing to really hold my attention, so my hands work while my mind goes where it needs to. I find it a bit restorative and I can find solutions, or at least clarity, on issues large and small, old and new.

Many people find driving to open up their minds, but that can sometimes be fall foliage mixture 2disconcerting, such as when I miss a freeway exit because I was really thinking about something else. Many people also let their thoughts wander constructively when walking or riding a bicycle. I’m sure swimming, rowing, roller blading, ice skating, kayaking, fishing, hiking, and many other physical activities would also do well. Before I met him, my husband was an avid bow-hunter, although I don’t think he actually killed anything that way (thank goodness). It was a socially acceptable manly thing to do amongst his friends, after all, and he enjoyed sitting alone in the wilds of the Rocky Mountains. I suspect it was just his way of meditating

My best insights, which require little introspection from me, come when I’m showering or brushing my teeth. I’m usually not really awake then, so the creative right side of my brain is wide open and listening to the universe. The critical left side of my brain, which usually tells me how bad my ideas are, is still unengaged. After all, I don’t really need to think about how to do these activities. I usually get some interesting ideas during this time of morning, and I almost always act on them – to my good fortune.

Russell Sprout is getting impatient. We've got work to finish!
Russell Sprout is getting impatient. We’ve got work to finish!

I spent almost the entire day today writing. I spread my time across several different projects, but they all involved a large element of creativity and writing. I still can’t believe how late it is – time just flew. I feel rejuvenated, and I had several insights along the way that helped a few things click. Writing can be  a powerful engine for introspection, even when you aren’t journaling or writing about yourself.

What do you do that brings you peace, comfort, and clarity? Any ideas?


  1. Hahahaa…. I had to laugh because I think introspection is scarier than meditation, a la the Mullah Nasruddin fable of looking for his lost key under the lamp post. Asked why he was looking outside if he lost the key in his home, he replied the light was so much better outside. So, so many of us find it infinitely easier to examine circumstances around us than to search in the darkness of our own homes.

    Your readers have provided so many wonderful responses. While meditation brings me a sense of well-being, it is more often when writing that clarity descends. Thanks for another thoughtful post.


  2. I understand how the word ‘meditation’ scares people sometimes, because even if we’re speaking different languages, the word for ‘meditation’ also scares people here. But I also think that’s because they don’t understand what this word really means.
    My way of ‘meditation’ is going for a walk all by myself. This may not help me find solutions for my problems but surely will give me peace. Just keep walking and watching the world goes by and thinking about all kinds of things. It works for me every time since I was a student.:)


    1. You’re right, many people don’t understand what the word meditation means. And some have a very rigid belief of a concept that I believe is more fluid. Thanks for dropping by.


        1. Ha, ha! True. I just think they’re not ready to go after meditation in a serious way — but it doesn’t mean they can’t start with small steps. So, this post is about the small steps.


  3. Definitely gardening, or any kind of exercise outdoors. I experience peace when my mind shuts off. Real contact with nature (without my mind running the show) is extremely helpful to me.


  4. For me it’s a hike in the woods, taking time to photograph nature’s beauty and examine interesting new things. No rushing, just an enjoyable hike. Having a home in the woods would probably make me the most relaxed person around!


    1. Ah, if we lived in the woods, we might be that way too. We’re in the suburbs, though, and it just isn’t the same. My friends like to stroll downtown, where we work, during lunch. I’m afraid the pollution doesn’t mix well with my asthma, and I’m less enthused. A walk on the pavement in the traffic just isn’t the same. I agree, though, any stroll with my camera in a natural setting is fun!


  5. Beautiful Cat! I wanted to hold him. My favorite time to meditate and just think through my life is when I sew. It used to be when ironing but now I don’t iron unless I am preparing fabric.


    1. Well, let me know if it really works out. Usually, I get in the laundry (meditation) zone, and sometimes, I get into grumbly can’t-anyone-else-do-laundry zone. If I had a massive pile, I might have a bit of both attitudes at different times — because it will take a long time to finish!


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