Organising my brain and my online life

Hello gorgeous ones!

I have been going through a process not only of trying to understand my brain (as in the previous post), but also of trying to once again simplify my life.
With the study of my maybe gifted and certainly intense mind, I am realising a lot of my stress comes from the way I think.
I have what Paula Prober terms a "Rainforest Mind" which is teeming with ideas, full of sensory stimulation and working on many different directions at once. I also have heard it termed "fractal thinking" or "meta thinking".
It doesn't seem to think linearly, but more brainstormingly. Each thought sets up clusters of thoughts and my brain either heads off for the ride of its life; or becomes completely mired within the distractions it sets up, becomes overloaded and can't have a decent conversation.

My first inkling that all was not well was the way I felt around online time. I enjoy it so much and yet it seems to drain the life right out of me. It feels like standing in the middle of a busy party and trying to have conversations with all the partygoers simultaneously. Kind of like living in my brain sometimes! You think I would be used to it, but obviously not!
So then I backed right off and withdrew from Facebook and reduced my blogging interactions to almost nil. However this felt too far removed and I missed my friends and all the stimulation of ideas.
So I have now come up with a new strategy which I am finding useful.

For Facebook I have unfriended people who I don't know in person, and those who post negative ideas constantly. But I still had a few people who I wanted to keep in contact with like family, but who posted things I found hard to read. I then found my lifesaver...unfollowing. This allows me to stay friends but I don't have to see their posts in my feed. If I tap on the notification button it will tell me a summary of their posts and I can pick and choose which I will read. This has given me a really useful filtration tool and has been great for my mental health. The side benefit of emptying my feed is that I now receive posts from the groups I am following which were previously crowded out by someone's breakfast photo or some such. These group posts are much more on topic for me as that is why I followed them in the first place, and I can have much more relevant interesting conversations based on them.

I have also removed myself from Instagram as I found it tended to be doubling what I was doing on FB or my blog, but it just opened me up to way more interactions. Too many for my brain, fun though they were.
I have long ago also pulled away from Google+ as well, as that tended to duplicate FB. I explored posting my BeautyScopes in various photography groups, and while successful, it required much interaction with others' photos to keep the group alive, and I just couldn't sustain it.

So I have reduced my daily interactions to Email lists, Blogging, Facebook and YouTube with occasional forays into Pinterest and Podcasts.
I have set up my apps in a folder on my ipad in order, and every day I walk through them to make sure I have caught up and covered everything. If I have a gap, if I'm away for instance, I tend to just start again from there, rather than trying to catch up with everything that has gone on in my absence!

I have reduced my lists to a manageable number, and when I find a new one I want to follow, I remove one I am not reading as much, with gratitude. Like sorting out my wardrobe!  This way I can keep things under control, and I can interact more deeply with those still on my list. Deep communication is my natural way, and I have been finding all the scattered surface reading did not suit me.

However I must admit this is still only partially successful as I still peep back at the people I removed. Mostly I have removed fashion bloggers as I have stopped being so interested in clothing for the moment. But the problem is I find those people are the nicest, kindest, chattiest people! If I want to make space for my other research, I need to move away for a time. Still working on this!

Another issue I've been having is that I forget to read the ibooks I have downloaded because there is no physical presence to prompt me. Do you find that?
I have put my kindle app in my daily folder to help me remember to finish these ibooks.

And in this same daily folder I have my Italianpod101 app which gives me a word of the day. I do enjoy starting my day with a little Italian!

Finally I have a Chill app that gives me a saying and beautiful picture to brighten my day and give me a calm image to think about and dwell on.

Phew, listing all this makes me realise that even in my relaxed organised state I am full on!

After reading all these, I then head off to do some yoga with "Yoga With Adriene", free on YouTube.
This sets my body up for the day and stretches out all the little kinks. My ultra taut nervous system can wreak havoc on my poor muscles. My yoga time is helping to smooth the way...ahhh!
The focus on the core during yoga has helped me come back to myself, feel my grounding, feel my body.
So I am gently working towards more simplicity, stillness and focus.
I am thinking more of nature, spending more time at home, working more with my hands, and working only on a couple of projects at a time (or at least in a day)!

Working towards simple pleasures of having a tidy, clean, beautiful functional space. Filled with well crafted good quality products and finishes. I notice buying things secondhand as I do, it's easy to pick up junk. We need to filter our buying, not just buy a lot of stuff because it's cheap. We need to make sure we adore it and it is quality, and we need it! I am working on negotiating this with the magpie inside!

So that is my brain dump on my latest move towards simplicity. Getting this all sorted through my brain and then implementing it and finally writing about it, has been an enormous undertaking!
I feel cleaner and lighter and simpler. Yay!

Do you have strategies you use to organise your brain and your online life?

Til next time,
keep on creating!

Jazzy Jack


  1. Not only are these just breathtaking photos I really enjoyed what you wrote and can relate to it very much. Like you I enjoy social contact with like-minded people or people who feed my thoughts but I also get easily overwhelmed. Like you I have stopped looking at fashion blogs because I am just not really doing that anymore and it was getting too overwhelming. Unfollowing is a very helpful tool on Facebook and it's not unfriendly or confrontational like unfriending is. I need to do even more of it. My brain is very busy like yours is. It does not rest and although that is tiring and can be overwhelming I don't really want to lose that. I feel a bit defensive when people suggest strategies for relaxing my mind. That is akin to telling me how to be someone else. I am always writing an essay, planning a painting, composing a poem, having an aha moment, coming up with a hypothesis or processing information. I process best when I can discuss it so that leads me to seek out people and the greatest challenge is finding people who will participate in that. To fill that gap I write in journals and make notes for future essays and then I write more than one draft of the essay also as a way of working out my thinking. Although I am very creative I am also very intellectual and the two battle it out a little. I never have enough time or energy to do enough of both. My partner has pointed out to me that writing is crucial and that the note taking and essay writing is crucial because I need a goal, I need to be working towards something that I can see the end of or I go a bit off the rails. My struggles with energy and stamina have much to do with physical illness which is beyond my control and I don't live a very structured life however I do like to be organised in a way that works for me. Like you I am figuring out what works best, adapting as I need to and increasingly that means doing what works for me personally and worrying less about what I owe anybody else in terms of my time or attention. I cannot be close friends with every wonderful person I meet. I cannot follow the blog of every person I like or respond to everything they post on facebook. I think I"m rambling here a bit, since this is a first draft vomiting of my thoughts. Anyhow I'm just using up all of these words and all of this space to say I really relate to so much of what you are saying and experiencing. We are not the same but very much alike in many ways. Your explanation of this subject fascinates me and since psychology and philosophy are my favourite subjects that's no surprise. I love to know how people think and feel and live. I love to examine what is the best way to live. And when such thoughts come with jaw dropping seaside photos then it's heaven for me! xoxo

    1. I too bristle when people tell me to calm down or "just relax"! I had more of this when I was overloading all over the place, in tears and headaches etc. I seem to be managing a bit better at the moment, so I'm thankful for that.
      As I investigate HSP/Intensities/Overexcitabilities/Giftedness, I realise how innate my thinking is and feel some anger at the years of counselling I spent trying to fix myself!
      Anyway, we move on and hopefully by writing my learning I will help others.

      I really identify with your comment about writing being crucial. I'm not sure I use it as much as I need to, but I do use Cris as a sounding board a lot.
      Also, I have noticed if I don't have anything to research and sink the teeth of my mind into, my mind will invent dark places to go, and start feeding on itself!
      I'm so glad you enjoyed your trip to the seaside.
      xo Jazzy Jack

    2. What you said about your mind inventing dark places to go...I think I get sort of misogynistic. This is when I am frustrated with my inability to connect with others or find like minds so I have two options-either everyone is too stupid/shallow to bear or I am so hopelessly unlike anyone else I will never be happy on earth so what's the point? I have never been suicidal but I could get to a hating everyone and thus just shutting myself away point. Certainly that is a dark place as well but your point made me able to access this in myself and articulate that it is more likely become loathing of others than loathing of self. This would certainly not make me likable. LOL The depression I have experienced which was a result of being in an abusive relationship did turn me in on myself because that's where the abuse focused. It was all about how I was flawed and wrong and the cause of all problems and the one who needed fixing so I too saw myself that way. Arrgh what a mess. Anyhow, like you I am determined to know myself and sometimes knowing oneself means acknowledging the dark corners. I believe that knowing what it would look like if I went into one of them will help me stay out or help me get out faster. xoxo

    3. Interesting points. I also know that I can get intensely heavy and have to regularly deliberately lighten up periodically as I sense my body tensing up. So then I focus on something very physical like knitting and listening to knitting podcasts. It's like having a craft group over for tea! xo Jazzy Jack

    4. Knitting can work for me too. I'm not very good at it but even knitting scarves can be sort of meditative and soothing. xoxo

  2. I love reading the conversations between you and the D of A up there. I had to step away from blogging because I became completely overwhelmed. I would drop down into these bloggy rabbit holes and I would barely come up for air. It's true. The fashion people are the most wonderfully positive supportive group and some of them are wildly funny. It was all just so exhausting and profoundly time consuming. I felt guilty for not being able to contribute in return. I will always check in with you from time to time even if I don't comment. I'm just watching from the sidelines and looking for little faces on everything I see. I love your photos.

    1. Ah Connie, those bloggy rabbit holes are so fun but also so disorienting!
      The guilt is real, and so I have had to avoid even visiting. But it means my numbers of readers have dropped drastically too.
      Thanks for letting me know of your hovering presence. I feel honoured!
      Hugs to you. xo Jazzy Jack

  3. I am also still hovering like Connie. I enjoy your poems and photos too much. I find them very calming in this hectic world of over stimulation.


    1. Yay! That is exactly why I do them.
      The next one is just for you!
      So glad I can counteract some of the madness.
      xo Jazzy Jack

  4. I understand very well that feeling of being overwhelmed by your own brainstorm, I try to surf over all those thoughts and plans and projects that intersect and spread and brunch themselves in a big wild forest. And I've been taking easy too with blogging, just picking some of the blogs I really enjoy, not trying to embrace Every Blog I like nevermore.
    Your strategies look really appealing to me, and I would like to know how they work!

    1. Yes, surfing over and observing like snorkelling over a lovely rich coral reef but not living there, is a great idea!
      xo Jazzy Jack

  5. Jack,

    We seem to be on similar journeys!

    "With the study of my maybe gifted and certainly intense mind, I am realising a lot of my stress comes from the way I think." Oh yes! I've been reading Paula Prober's blog and have been considering buying her book The Rainforest Mind. I can relate to your description of how your brain works. My daughters' brains work in the same way.

    Because I've been feeling overwhelmed, I've also reduced my involvement in social media. I closed my Instagram and Twitter acounts and my main Facebook profile. At first this was a big relief but like you, I wonder if things are now just a bit too quiet. Rest and space are good for a time, but I need something to fill the gap long term.

    "As I investigate HSP/Intensities/Overexcitabilities/Giftedness..." I'm researching those as well, not only for myself but for one son in particular. New ideas I haven't considered before but which might just solve the puzzle. I know we're different and I'd beeen regarding that as something negative. Shouldn't we try to be like everyone else? It can be lonely not connecting properly with people, not being able to share thoughts, not feeling understood. Yes, our problem. But maybe it's not a problem at all.

    There is so much going around my head and I shouldn't really pour everything out here in your com-box. No doubt I'll write a blog post or two of my own about this topic once I have got my thoughts in better order. Thank you for sharing your story and listening to mine!

    1. Oh Sue! How interesting. I would definitely recommend Paula's book. It has so many cool resources listed in it, so a great place to start your research. She definitely knows how we think!
      I understand the loneliness part. Especially as homeschooling and unschooling parents. Our tiimetable is so different to other families. And my kids are not too keen to meet up with other homeschoolers. They are quite content.
      Thanks for commenting and letting me know I am not alone :-)
      I really think we would get on in real life. Maybe one day we will meet. We're not too far apart!
      All the best with your research. xo Jazzy Jack


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