At what age did boredom start becoming a ‘thing’ for you? So what was happening before that? Where’s the freedom with ideas of boredom or feeling fed up?
Let’s start with exploring how experience is created
We, including the neuroscientists, don’t really know how we work. We can see a piece of machinery inside people’s heads that we call a brain and we can see bits of it light up with different activities — but nobody has yet proven if or how a brain has anything to do with our conscious experience.
What we have learnt is alot about the machinery of the brain which correlates with behaviour (note — no proven ‘causal link with’ behaviour).
One of those correlations is how the left hemisphere is involved in the chunking-up of life.
*Rather than be in the flow of the eternal now, it chunks time into segments.
*Rather than see a group of unique individuals, it sees ‘staff’ or ‘women and men’ or ‘rich and poor’.
This leads to what we experience as ‘thingifying’ (yes, technical term).
It takes a temporary, fleeting moment and imagines it’s a fixed ‘thing’. Then it labels it just to make sure it definitely looks like a ‘thing’ that can be ‘dealt with’. When we’re subsumed in thingification believing life is full of definite, solid, named ‘things’ it feels sticky and hard.
‘Boredom’ is one of those ‘things’ the left hemisphere has created from a fleeting moment.
An experience arises, the mind grabs it, labels it, and — when believed at face value — it then proceeds to judge it — usually as terrible, not good enough, should try harder, come on, get up and do something. Is this reminding you of the back and forth with your parents? When did that narrative get programmed in? Notice how you now have both your younger self and your parents playing in that movie of your mind.
Anyway, having done all that imaginative creation of a ‘thing’ called ‘boredom’, and having judged it to within an inch of its illusory life, the mind now tries to set about changing it.
Can you see the circular game here? The very activity of the mind that created ‘the thing’ is now trying to get rid of ‘the thing’. The mind that created an idea of boredom now tries to get rid of its creation.
That’s why it can feel like a downward spiral of boredom or fed-up-ness because the continued cycle of ‘thingify’ — label — judge — try to fix, leads to further and further contraction as we believe the stories and feel more and more rubbish about ourselves and our situation.
But the discomfort and rubbish-ness we feel is actually trying to tell us that we’re lost in stories about a made-up ‘thing’. It’s trying to alert us. To wake us back up to reality. Wake up! Wake up! It calls. And all these years we’ve misunderstood the cries.
All fine — because downward spirals don’t last forever. Something will always change or shift and we’ll find the spiral of stories has gone pop, and we’re back in the moment.
But — if you’d rather spend less time in downward spirals, start to get curious about this mechanism of the mind that makes its creations feel so very real, but are they true?
Or can the experience that sometimes gets labeled ‘bored’ sometimes float by un-thingified?
With love, Helen