I never used the word, ponder until a few years ago. I mean, I was living such a fast paced life, I never had time to. I was too busy reacting to life. Now though, I love this word. I also think of sophisticated images like Aristotle, Plato and Einstein. They must have pondered.
I looked the word up online but honestly I didn’t like the definition: to think about (something) carefully, especially before making a decision or reaching a conclusion. Well, one thing I’ve learned on my spiritual journey is, often there are no conclusions (just steps and stops along the way) or one right answer. The world, and I, always seem to be changing. I also read the list of synonyms: think about, overthink, contemplate, review, mull over, deliberate about, dwell on, brood on, chew over. Oh my, these don’t sound that positive. I did like these: consider, reflect on, meditate on, muse on.
I define ponder as, loose thinking. You could also call it, checking-out, zoning out, spacing out, daydreaming, wondering, or even staring. Some might consider it a form of meditation. Others might find it rude as they try to snap you out of it. It’s about being so open, you allow thoughts to come to you. No criticism, no judgment, no expectation for one right answer – no ego. Being truly neutral and unattached… unaffected by what might be said to you. So maybe it’s more about tapping in to a higher power and wisdom.
If you’re not use to pondering… I encourage you to try. It is a skill. Practice makes perfect. We live in a world that demands answers and the quicker the better. I mean, you can Google anything but is that really your truth?
We use and rely on our minds. It is okay to say to another, I need time to think on this. Try though not to be as serious looking as, The Thinker statue. It can be a wonderful time to dream.
Pondering is just a different way to use your mind. To use it, in its entirety. I found pondering one day as I was sitting on the back deck reading a book. The author had written something that my mind needed more time to think on. I allowed this verses rushing through the pages trying to finish the book. I sat with the statement for several minutes. Then, my brain seemed to absorb it. And as I continued to ponder, I could understand even more. I think when you take any activity that relaxes you and then take it a half-step further (yes, before you fall asleep), then you are in the right zone.
Find a comfy spot, sit… relax and try. If you notice your mind chattering away at you, let the thoughts come and go. This may take several minutes. Some thoughts might tease you, wanting you to stay focused on and obsessing about the thought. This would be overthinking and it’s not your friend. Send them away for now. Relax your body. Take a few slow deep breathes.
Just sitting still might also be a challenge if you are use to hoping up every two minutes. You are not spiritually ADD… sit, stay. Try again, each time adding a minute longer – get comfortable with not being in constant motion. If you feel that it is a waste of time, you are mistaken. Try again… and again.
At some point, you will find your happy place… space. Then you might hear a whisper, have an a-ha, a light bulb moment or even an epiphany that you’ve been waiting for. At times, it does feel like your own thought and other times you know wisdom has been shared. Maybe an inspiring idea, a solution to an ongoing problem or clarity about why something happened – a knowing. If nothing else, it will bring you back to your center. You will feel renewed. Often, this feeling is enough.
Make time to ponder. Allow space for this in your life. Really, there is so much to… ponder. It can be done at any time or place. Ponder on!