The Journey to Quiet

I feel I owe you a good post, what with pulling that “subscribe to my blog” move on Sunday. (Thank you for indulging me via FB, Twitter, etc. ) I feel the need to make good, to write meaningfully, to go deep and reveal an insight excavated there.

I’m just having a little trouble doing it.

It’s the voice in my head, you see, the voice that offers a running commentary on the endless To Do list that is my life. Review the lease. Send a card to Jean. Mark the raised bed plantings. Mail the graduation present to Joe. Prep for the logo meeting. Renew Audible. Decide on studio lighting. Migrate the Google Reader feed. Schedule lunch with Staci. Respond to new business lead. (FIND the new business lead now buried in 2,215 emails in my inbox.) Sort inbox to find the other hundred emails to which I owe responses. Find that note about that app that manages your inbox for you.

It’s unsettling, this commentary, this unsatisfied, insatiable voice. It knows me well, feeding on the one thought that, when I am not diligent, overtakes all:

I don’t have time. If I just had more time. Why is there never enough time?

(I have written about this before. We can safely consider it a “recurring” theme.)

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A few years ago, in a race to get from one meeting to the next, I wheeled into a parking lot and ran for the door of an already in-progress board meeting. I made my way to an empty chair beside my friend Mike—a highly respected banker with whom I had served on several boards—and went about the business of sitting, parking my purse under the table and retrieving a notebook and pen from my disorganized and impossible to find anything under the best of circumstances briefcase. (Okay, it’s not a briefcase, it’s a backpack, but that’s another story.)

In a halfhearted attempt at an apology excuse, I leaned toward Mike, who was sitting serenely with—by the way—nothing but the agenda in front of him. I whispered:

Good Lord I never have enough time.

He turned to me, smiled ever-so-gently and said:

Cathy. You have all the time there is.

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I am 18 pages into The Untethered Soul, a book recommended to me by my soulmate cousin Meg on that life-changing trip to Misty Valley a few weeks ago. The book opens with Chapter 1: The Voice Inside Your Head.

In case you haven’t noticed, you have a mental dialogue going on inside your head that never stops. It just keeps going and going. Have you ever wondered why it talks in there? How does it decide what to say and when to say it? How much of what it says turns out to be true? How much of what it says is even important? And if right now you are hearing, “I don’t know what you are talking about. I don’t have any voice inside my head!” —that’s the voice we’re talking about.

This is going to be an interesting journey, I think, this trip inside my head to deal with the voice.

How I look forward to the peace and quiet there on the other side.