Do you live in your head? I do.I have characters chatting, I have new book ideas vying to be heard, and ideas for revisions swirl around the periphery of my mind. I tried meditation for a while. It doesn’t work for me. As I tried to meditate and without really being aware of it, the voices creep back in, an idea for a blog post sweeps through, and the answer to a troubling paragraph begins forming.
Taking a Walk
What has worked to get out of my head is walking my dogs in my neighborhood park. It takes me a while to become aware that I’ve stayed in my head even as I walk. At that point, I force myself to pay attention to the surroundings outside my head rather than to those inside. I first listen to the birds singing in the trees over my head or the woodpecker working on a post nearby.
Then I watch the wind move through the trees as it comes toward me. I think of whether I can put it into a scene of my WIP as the two main characters walk down a country lane. They could be talking about . . . . Wait a second, wait a second! Get out of your head, I order yet again.
Next I notice what has changed in the park since the day before. There was a storm in the early hours of the morning. As the wind moves through the trees, it dislodges droplets of water and I am in the midst of a mini-shower of cool water. Delighted, I note that the droplets have made me smile. It seems greener than the day before, too, probably because the rain has washed away the dust covering the leaves.
Where are the pair of ducks that hang out in the small pool of water behind the honeysuckle? They’re not there today which is just as well since they are very vocal at being disturbed. Listen, I tell myself. Yes, there it is. The burbling of the small brook as it moves down its path and over the stones.
As we go around a curve in the path, we meet an owner and her two dogs that we see every morning. We stop and chat about the weather, our dogs, and how cool it is at six in the morning. We move on, going our separate ways in different directions.
Back in My Head
Thirty minutes later, the dogs and I are back at the car. My oldest dog is limping because of the arthritis in her front paw, my youngest wants to go around again. But reality in the form of my oldest dog limping has returned me to inside my head, Should I take him to the Vet? Can the Vet do anything I can’t? I ask myself. My characters begin their conversations again, the revisions are changing, and what’s that idea for a new blog post that just flitted by? My day has begun.