The Physicalness of Things

I’m in bed this morning, cradling a heating pad and trying to ignore my body. I’ve had a lot of musculoskeletal pains over the years, along with some other surprises as I’ve aged. As I lie here, accepting that I’m being forced to take some time off, I found myself pondering this body and why it is I live so much of my life outside of it.

I’ll explain.

As writers, we tend to spend a lot of time in our heads. When we are planning stories, yes, but I’m willing to wager that you’re like me, and you probably still live inside your head a lot, even when you aren’t writing. This is something I would like to work on. I feel like I am always thinking. Say for instance, when I’m chopping vegetables, warming the skillet, and pulling spices from their cubbies, I’m not always present and focused on the task at hand. I might be thinking about what I want to do once I’ve finished dinner, or what I want to work on next in my writings, or I might be trying to remember what it is I wanted to do to my website. Regardless of what the thought is, the point is that I am living in my head. I’m roughly attached to my eyes to see what I’m doing and to my hands to keep myself moving, but I’m not truly existing in the moment, taking in the scene around me, feeling the activity or the lack of it, paying attention to the scents and sounds, no matter how subtle they may be.

I don’t think this is healthy. I think habits like this continue to spill into everyday life and, ultimately, contribute to us being disconnected from those around us.

I don’t have much of a point to this post. I just wanted to share my thoughts with you as I try to disconnect from this aching body. I hope you all have a wonderful day and an amazing week.

As always, with love,


13 thoughts on “The Physicalness of Things

  1. Sorry, you are in pain. Being in the moment is like trying to catch smoke. We are only in the moment when we are completely unaware that we are in the momement the minute we shift back to thinking “Oh, I think I am in the moment,” we lose it. Haha, damn it. Such is life thank you for sharing. I hope the pain subsides

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  2. I relate to this so much. My mind is constantly going. Sometimes I donโ€™t hear people at work when theyโ€™re speaking to me. It happens while I watch movies too. I wake at night with racing thoughts, which are often about my WIP novel these days. Iโ€™ve found one of the best ways to deal with this is to give my thoughts their own time. Go for a long walk. Sit with a cup of coffee and stare blankly outside. Just like everything else important to us, our thoughts need their time so that they donโ€™t get too invasive. Let them run wild in their own space and time like a puppy in a dog park. Thanks for posting this thought provoking topic, WB ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. I’ve been there, and often return to (or retreat into) my own personal headspace when I’m writing, searching for ideas, or dealing with unpleasant memories. On the other hand, over the years I’ve had a few interesting experiences that have taught me how to bring myself out and to engage with the world as it comes.

    In essence, it boils down to a conscious choice.

    When you catch yourself overthinking things, the best thing I can recommend is to force your mind to stop. This is best accomplished by taking deep breaths, while blanking your thoughts. Imagine yourself a mountain, and every fleeting thought or feeling a breeze passing over you. Even if you slip up and start giving them purchase, simply acknowledge that fact and continue trying to empty your head. This will gradually become easier to do, and with sufficient practice, you may find yourself living a lot more and overthinking a lot less.

    There’s still times when thinking about things is not only healthy, but necessary for survival. But that doesn’t take away from the general dharma you want to get away from. It’s easy to see how that can interfere with anyone’s enjoyment of life.

    Hoping you feel better…

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      1. Another thing that might help is to go for a walk. Get out for a bit, exercise those legs, all the while doing y your best to observe the world around you. You might be surprised at what you start to see…


  4. ๐Ÿ’•WB, I hope you feel better soon. Thank you for sharing this post. It is so true that I spend too much time in my head, and not enjoying the moment unless I purposefully decide that’s what I’m going to do. We’re insanely busy these days (not always the best) and neglect just indulging in the moment. I think we believe we’ll miss something important. Great topic. Thank you again!๐Ÿ’•

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  5. This is also something I’ve been considering lately. I’d been reasonably athletic in my teens until I was struck down with mono and fibromyalgia. I spent the next thirty years moving more in my head and less in my body because it hurt and nothing could touch it. I’d had to rely on dissociation; disconnecting the ‘me’ from the shell that carried me around. Due to stunning coincidences, got help with physiotherapy and I ended up studying karate. I was able to put my cane away because I gained balance, and things in general move better than before. I’m going to cry while I share this, but – when doing physiotherapy, I always had to touch my arm with my other hand to be sure it stayed where I wanted it to be. Earlier this week, I noticed I didn’t have to – I know where it is now. I found my own arm… The years of going as far away from myself as I could are being undone.

    They always push us to use our heads, to think, to learn, to learn harder. They mention the 30 minutes of exercise 3 times a week, but that’s as far as they go. The messages are always ‘your mind is more important’ and ‘your spirit is more important’ – cerebral is the way to go. They need to rethink what we’re teaching ourselves and our kids.

    *hugs* Wishing you everything you need to get past this.


  6. I don’t think there is a thing wrong with dreaming while awake, but it’s true that most of us could use more practice attending to the here-and-now from time to time.

    Sympathies on your chronic pain, WB. You might find it interesting that the two items you wrestle with in this piece (mindfulness and pain management) can be linked to improve both. I doubt your system will allow me to post a link, so Google “Using Mindfulness to Approach Chronic Pain” by Margarita Tartovsky.


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