“Tell the negative committee that meets inside your head
to sit down and shut up.” -Ann Bradford
Back in the 1990s, my wife and I discovered the Tucson desert, and we met Herb the wrangler. He led us on horseback rides through the Sonoran Desert and into the foothills of the Rincon Mountains. While Herb had been wrangling for a number of years, Laurie and I were experiencing our first ranch experience.
One day, as we were leaving the coral and heading toward the trail for the day, Herb turned around in his saddle and shared why he liked the desert. For him, sitting in the saddle, walking through the sage brush and prickly pear cacti, with only the sound of the wind and the hooves of the horses in the air, provided solace and a time to be quiet. Or as Herb succinctly put it, this time was like “a mind enema.”
Laurie and I laughed—and we never forgot Herb’s words.
A mind enema.
A time away from distractions. Just person, horse, and nature. A great time to empty the mind of clutter. Kind of a walking meditation. Being in the moment with the surroundings. Allowing our eyes to see, and noses to breathe. Feeling our butts in the saddles, our feet in the stirrups, and our hands with the reigns.
We just returned home yesterday from our latest trip to the ranch. Another opportunity to empty the mind. While Herb has ridden off to the coral in the sky, his words remain. More so, the reminder in those words.
We totally disconnected from our usual world. No cell phone, no email, no computer, no newspapers, no television news, no business or work-related projects. A total mind enema.
We dedicated the week to ourselves; quiet recharge time.
I don’t know about you, but when I detach—I mean turn off the digital distractions—I more clearly hear what is bouncing around in my head. Mostly, I hear unhelpful noise in the guise of “helpful words.” Noise that is encouraged and feed by the endless stream of other people’s words. For the week, I became more aware of (reminded of) the power of words—to others and to yourself. Everything sends a message. And often, we allow ourselves to speak ill thoughts to ourselves—and we let them limit us.
The time away allowed me to take words attributed to Ann Bradford to heart,
“Tell the negative committee that meets inside your head to sit down and shut up.“
We have to be mindful of the message we send ourselves and, then, what messages we accept from others. At times, we need to tell those intrusive voices to “sit down and shut up.”
As you navigate the coming week and continue to write your autobiography, think how you can be a choice architect in your life and the lives of others.
And, I remember and thank Herb.
Video Recommendation for the week.
A quick video (115 seconds) juxtaposing some video with some video scenes “Mind Enema.”
Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.
My latest book, Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019), (print and e-book) is available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
Check out my book Stories about Teaching, Learning, and Resilience: No Need to be an Island (2017). It has been adopted for teaching, learning, and coaching purposes. I conducted (September 2019) a half-day workshop for a community college’s new faculty onboarding program using the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
My podcasts can be found at The Growth and Resilience Network®.
You will find more about what I do at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
©2019. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®