Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Conscious. Unconscious.

Quiet. I know. It's not as though nothing's going on, there just happens to be more I can't actually write about. Or rather, don't feel like writing about. Funny that, for those of us who are putting ourselves out there online. Funny to come up against the real boundaries of what actually, we don't write about. Some of it is too personal to others. And some of it, just too personal to me. How do I define that? What could it be? I so often already write about areas others keep quiet. This moment, perhaps it's more medical, more whining, some financial. Privacy seems more appropriate for the moment. But thinking about it reminded me of Madonna's Truth or Dare "doc" from years ago, - and how funny it was that the only moment she declared off camera, shutting the door physically, was for her business meeting.

But in thinking about what could be of interest, thinking about this book I'm reading called, Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious by Timothy D. Wilson. I can't even remember what turned me on to it. I was reading about something else, which led me to recommendations for this book, and in very short order, without mulling or putting it on my bottom of my list, I bought it and started reading. And it's fascinating. It's about our conscious mind and our unconscious - and which is controlling what. I'm only early in, but so far, the writer's putting forth the theory that it's hard for us to know ourselves, because so much of who we are, and how we react, including what judgements we make, are governed by our "adaptive unconscious" and that's actually inaccessible to us. Our conscious mind can't see the other. We have to piece it together by stories others tell us and by a kind of sleuthing of our own actions. Really fascinating. I can't wait to see where it's going.

And why is it relevant to me? Because I'm starting to feel that more and more of what I feel good about, the traits that I find more interesting about myself, are the unconscious ones. I write better when it's from the instinctive place, not the conscious mind (at least I think so- and that would really account for why I can't write simple assignments like press releases. My conscious mind has no writing flow.) I definitely speak better when it just happens. I only know what I'm thinking after I hear what comes out. Even when I dance, it has to happen without my conscious mind. I learn when there's enough repetition for my body to just "get" it. I can't think about it, if I do, I screw up. I'm learning in a deeper place outside my mind. Really, the more I think about it, the more true it is. My conscious mind is a hindrance. It's insecure and hyper critical and unsure. But there's a deeper well that's stronger. I've been joking about it for awhile. Now I'm seeing the seriousness. Now I'm trying to figure out how to make it work for me, how to work with it.


jd said...

I think this is acommon theme among women once they hit 50..

grainyms said...

Really, why?

jd said...

For me it is seems universal with my women friends that age and experience is allowing us to trust our instincts, stop self-censoring and just let life unfold day by day--addressing things as they arise and remaining open to the twists and turns. Letting the subconscious take over and guide us--and we are a lot happier for it.
FYI---I do want to get the book you reference. I searched audible for an audio version figuring it may be a good walking companion, but can't find it.

grainyms said...

Interesting. I don't think I was feeling that this was about trusting the subconscious more in a positive way. I was trying to write about this was rather an unpleasant discovery about how the conscious mind (or rather MY unconscious mind) is an impediment. And it wasn't about how it's changing, but more about how I'm just recognizing it more clearly. I've never been anything near a control freak - I've always been open to intuition and serendipity / synchronicity - but this is something different. Interesting to mull further though.