My Quiet Place

The most used muscle in my body is probably within my head. My brain works overtime, churning at a frenetic pace through my workday. Where most people experience sore muscles after a tough workout, my brain hurts at the end of most days. I don’t mean I have a headache. It’s not that. I suppose it wouldn’t even be classified as pain. If you can imagine how a Nerf ball might feel, if it had feelings, if someone squeezed it with superhuman strength, you might be close to understanding how my brain feels after it “works out”.

I remember one time, years ago, when I worked many hours on a particularly difficult problem at work. When I finally left to go home, I heard and felt a a literal SNAP! inside my brain. That’s the only time I’ve ever felt as though my brain actually broke, but most days, I feel very close to another SNAP moment.

Once I am at that point, I have no choice but to seek solitude; to feed quiet to my brain. Historically, that would usually mean lying down in bed, possibly resulting in a short nap, but mostly just letting my brain rest.

In the past few months, however, I’ve found that the massage chair I purchased to soothe my back, hip, and leg pain serves another surprisingly wonderful purpose. Fifteen minutes in my chair, lying in the zero-gravity position, feeling the motion of the balls roll across my back, is the perfect environment for my brain to find peace, quiet, and solitude.

Interestingly, my brain doesn’t shut down in the chair, unless I fall asleep, which happens often enough. But if I remain awake, I find that my brain swirls with words, imagery, thoughts, ideas, and more, but not in a logical or stressful way. At times, I’ll notice that a string of words that make no sense together have just run through my mind. Swirling is an apt description, I think, but not in a hectic down-the-drain way. More like a soothing, gentle ripple that spreads through water, sometimes in a circular motion, sometimes in a meandering forward path.

When I get out of the chair, my brain feels settled. Evened out. Calm.

This is where I find solitude. Where do you find yours?

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