Mind’s Contents vs Consciousness: Meditation and Thoughts

Jennifer Ngan Photography
I tend to be a thinker. Over analytical and often scatterbrained with questions, ideas and sometimes delusions  far-fetched idealism or the opposite of it. This often means i stay up into the wee hours of the night, thinking about things that become a distraction when I should be asleep, deep in slumberville. In the mornings (i actually am a morning AND night person), I tend to wake up fairly early, and go about my day. It’s not always healthy, and I do suffer from self-diagnosed anxiety, which stems from childhood (I guess? Because Carl Jung says so). Which led me to the wildest Friday night ever. Seated (somewhat guided) meditation.

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On Life

Chasing the Sun / Jennifer Ngan
Chasing the Sun // Jennifer Ngan

On Unpacking

There is still a mountain of tees and shorts unloaded from my weekend duffel. A mismatched variety of light sweaters, a polka dotty not-worn swimsuit and a bunch of yoga bottoms. I feel so lucky to have gone on short trips every month. Drove up and down the coast of California, spent days breathing in the mountain air, watched a million stars in the desert, and sat in the midst of a powerful waterfall in the middle of nowhere. Those lungfuls of clean air well worth the clutter that’s overflowing on my floor.

On Work

The past few weeks have been particularly stressful. With so many things going on, I feel lucky to step out at noon for a short yoga sesh. I am also really hard on myself when I make mistakes, and I feel like I’m letting people down. My backlog is growing to the point of no return. There’s never enough time in the day to take care of everything. I have been trying to meditate but I can’t seem to do it without a guide. Since I don’t actually have a guide, i’ve been using the Headspace app. I have not yet developed an opinion, but will get back to you.

On Things

This year has been the year of mostly no-buy’s. I have been investing on interest me, like a camera, a couple of better quality lenses. In surveying my shopping habits, I’ve not really made any thoughtless purchases. My closet inventory has stayed mostly the same and I’ve organized and reorganized and realized it’s not so much that it’s important, but rather, how it makes me feel. I haven’t had a desire to load up my virtual shopping cart. I don’t regret it either. Though I am always in the market for quality leather booties 😉

On Health

I’ve been eating more healthier and being more mindful to how my body feels. During my time of the month, I get debilitating cramps that are so horrible I usually have to take a day off from work. This past month I spent a whole weekend bedridden and basically dying. I kept thinking, “this is it. This is it….GAWD.” I finally made an appt to see a doctor tomorrow, to get tested for endometriosis. I guess part of me would feel relieved if I have it so that it could explain my pain but at the same time I hope it isn’t and this whole excruciating pain thing could be dealt with holistically.

On Blogging/Writing/Photograpy

I used to carry a notebook with me to scribble incoherent, muddled thoughts and words. But now I do everything on my phone because I could snap a photo, write a couple of phrases, slap on some adjectives. I thought about coming up with a blogging schedule so that I could write constantly and consistently but many times inspiration don’t arise due to exhaustion or lack of words. A lot of the times I get a lot of inspiration while driving but it’s hard to recall that fleeting moment that passes. It’s not the same later. Perhaps I am overthinking it. I really am hard on myself when it comes to these things – matters of the heart (in writing and photography). I am still trying to find the right balance between writing intentionally and just writing a lot. But, as with all things, must give it time.

I Know That Starting Over Isn’t What Life’s All About

lassen volcanic park
lassen volcanic park

When I was eleven I wanted to be a writer. I wanted to write memoirs for interesting people and be swept away by their amazing life tales. I wanted to write about their leathery skin and smile lines, rich and deep from laughter and sun. A life well lived one would think, and far from my very own.

When I was fifteen, I wanted to be a dancer, lithe and long and beautiful. I stretched and practiced every night for months and months.

When I was eighteen, I wanted to become a journalist, covering stories about the human experience and the struggles for humanity.

When I was twenty three, I still wanted to be a writer. I wanted to write creatively, freely.

I still do, today. Writing has always been my escape in life. After a particularly hard day, the words write itself.

I realized that I wrote daily because I craved self discovery and self knowledge. I am fascinated by feelings. A passion to discover, a passion to record, a passion to study, to create, to write.

I write to feel. I write to admit to myself what I cannot say. I stylize my writings because I like it, and because it helps me interpret the complex. I write vaguely because it helps me sort out my thoughts.