Painting and Flowing

Furniture blue chest of drawersLast week when I was painting five rooms, I noticed a couple of things, and I’m guessing my abilities to perceive our world are probably the same as everyone else’s. So the things I noticed are probably pretty universal, here’s what I noticed.

The time needed for prepping an area for painting – like removing switch plates, scraping, and masking areas that don’t need paint takes about as much time as actually applying the paint and requires a good bit of internal narrative.

But when the actual painting starts, everything tends to be easier and you sometimes enter a state of “flow,” the narration in your mind gets replaced by experiencing. We do one or the other, but not narrating and experiencing at the same time. And usually whether we’re doing a painting project, eating a bagel, or listening to someone talk we spend the bulk of our time narrating and being somewhere else.

Our minds seem more like time machines, taking us forward into our future or back into our past. We’re rarely in the present moment because we’re narrating and telling ourselves stories, instead of experiencing what’s going on at the moment.