The last few days have been the kind of weekend sprint I try to avoid. You know the type — you had the day packed back-to-back with activities that were supposed to be fun and restful but instead were stressful and exhausting because you tried to cram in too many of them. And the weekends are just the precursor for this sort of thing happening in a different form on the weekdays, too.
My biggest problem with this kind of living isn’t the stress — although that’s not fun after awhile either. It’s that such a fast-paced, activities packed life doesn’t leave any time and space in the margins for creativity or to even, well, think. It’s just go, go, go.
How is a human supposed to get anything purposeful done, much less figure out when and how to get outside with such an action-packed life?
Because living life well doesn’t just mean going with the flow. It means making life meaningful. But it’s a sick cycle. You can’t find meaning if you aren’t taking time to look for it, and you can’t look for it if you are busy every waking moment.
And that’s why I force myself to take a brain hard reset. Let me explain.
Sometimes I feel my brain is like a computer. Now and then I just need to turn it off and turn it back on again. Ctrl+alt+delete. Control+command+power. Off for a moment. Refreshed the next.
But brain hard resets don’t just happen for me. I don’t find them by swimming laps, by going for a run, or by spending 20 minutes with Bach on my piano. Those things are stress relieving and relaxing, but they don’t reset me the way I crave.
I only find my brain reset in the outdoors while being completely still in one of two places — with water or in front of a campfire. Watching it on TV doesn’t work. (Although the video below is meant to give you a taste of what I’m talking about).
A brain hard reset happens for me when I am sitting still, gazing into a fire. There is very little blinking. I watch, I stare, I maybe sip coffee, I breathe. And I feel like a totally new person. I feel like my mind and soul have reset themselves, cleared the deck, rebooted the hard drive.
Water does the same thing. That glorious, quiet lapping sound a lake makes. The ironic peace brought by the roar of waves from the ocean. The rushing of a river as it moves swiftly by over rocks and branches.
I stop. I sit. I listen. I feel my mind and soul release themselves. I am free from the burdens and stress that exist all around me. I am reset.
I am renewed.