B for Blank Mind = B for Burnout

Two instances of Blank Mind in a year is more than coincidence. It’s a sign that yours truly needs better self-care.
This is a visual depiction of the internet as at 2015, taken by Opte.org. See it at http://www.opte.org/the-internet/

For something like two weeks, maybe three, I’ve had a blank mind. Don’t mistake this for being an empty mind, the long-sought-after Zen-like state of empty mind.

No, a blank mind.

The last time I experienced Blank Mind, I started to worry about stupid things like dementia.

You see, for me blank mind is an idea-less mind. It’s a mind that does not generate creativity, creative thoughts, new and exciting things at the rate of a thousand a minute. There are so many ideas in my life that I have notebooks overflowing with them.

When they stop, it’s like my entire world has ended. I start wondering, what’s the point of a life without ideas.

When they stop, I lose interest in most things. I even lose interest in reading. I feel myself gnawing at this state of Blank Mind and wondering where the brilliance and excitement has gone.

In speaking with my (very new) coach this week, he commented that it was a classic sign of burnout. The B word. That dreaded B-word. My last burnout was a lot more dramatic than this one; perhaps that’s why I didn’t identify the Blank Mind with the Burnout.

Huh, they both start with B. How about that.

The Blank Mind is an insidious thing. Blank Mind doesn’t even mean that all ideas cease. Just all the really creative ones. It’s like my link to the Great Unknown has been constricted or broken, like the tap of ever-flowing energy has turned off, to a dribble. All the amazing flashes of insight stop, and in that stopping lives concern and then worry. Cool things like essays and blogging here all dry up, too. Ha!

Is this how normal people live? Without ideas? Without crazy insights all the time? What a boring way to live!

After a few days off (due to illness; take ’em when you get ’em!) my enthusiasm for life has been returning. I’ve gotten excited about things again. I’ve started to ask questions, important questions, what if questions. The questions that herald the beginning of a new flow of life.

My challenge now is to plan for time off – complete time off – more regularly, to prevent Blank Mind. Twice in a year is twice too much. Once a year of Blank Mind you can shrug off; twice is more than coincidence. If I end up here a third time, then you, dear reader, are well within your right to call me an idiot.

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