2 min read

Getting out of my head

Getting out of my head

It feels like the mind is like an intellectual labyrinth where each twist and turn is some kind of a thought, principle, rule, strategy, mental model, a social game, a worry or an anxiety.

Navigating this maze is incredibly intellectually stimulating for some of us, and it feels like you’re making so much progress and gaining so much understanding. But somehow, counterintuitively, the deeper you get, instead of solving it, you’re actually expanding and complicating the labyrinth, and then you're like wtf, I'm so advanced and I have so much figured out, so much knowledge and so many concepts in my arsenal, yet I don’t get any kind of a resolution. And then, you’re joking with your friends about how much easier life would be if you were dumber.

The deeper you go in this maze, the more invested and trapped you become. You cling to this illusion of control and understanding so tightly that it becomes extremely hard to even see the world outside the maze. The actual world you’re supposed to live in.

I’ve started getting glimpses of the solution. Instead of trying to solve the ever-complicating maze, I step out into the open, sunlit field of the present moment. Mindfulness is a great tool for this. Focus on the actual sensations in my body and the world around me—not the mental models of things, but the real, tangible experience of them. The more I stay in the real world, the more the maze dissolves as a side effect.

The “present moment” has a marketing problem, though. You don’t tell an intellectual stimulation addict to turn into a monk. The present moment is actually rock ‘n’ roll. It’s where the most intensity and fullness of life are. It’s about feeling every move, every twitch of a muscle when you dance. (Thich Nhat Hanh has a lot of great practical advice in his books.)

It’s incredible how little music I’ve been listening to in recent years compared to my younger days, especially for someone who has always considered music one of the most profound aspects of their life. I only recently realized that music had taken a backseat because it was basically a distraction from my intellectual rat race. I’ve started listening to a lot of music again, and I’m beginning to feel the feels—it’s incredible.

This is also why I am so irresistibly drawn to fluidity—people, things and experiences that flow effortlessly, dance gracefully, and radiate the feminine. These qualities embody the essence of the present moment and counterbalance the rigid complexity of my intellectual labyrinth. Observing and embracing the feminine—qualities that unfortunately seem to be on a steep decline in the modern Western world—brings me to a state of presence and, in a way, also stillness.