Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Clearing my mind

I started to apologize for the scant amount of blog posts for the past month or two, but I deleted it. I don’t feel like I need to apologize.

It’s been great. I’ve been clearing my mind.

If you kept up with my blog posts from the past school year and when I finished up first year, you may have noticed that I had a lot on my mind. I carried a big load on my shoulders: a load consisting of stress, insecurities, and feelings of potential failure—in all senses of the word. After our final exam on the last day of school, those feelings did not stop.

I remember when our class had a specialty roundtable one evening. Physicians participating in different specialties in the community sat with us and answered questions. Somehow the topic of relaxation came up, and one physician advised that if given a certain amount of vacation time per year, one should take vacations of at least two weeks off, not one week. The first week will be spent unwinding, and then the second week can be enjoyed.

When I was finally free of responsibility for a few months, it took me about a week to de-tense.

I decided in May that my plan for the summer was just self-development and recovery. I was going to read a lot, exercise a lot, re-learn guitar, and get a lot of sleep.

My ADHD got the best of me as I started a few books but put each of them down after about forty pages. The guitar stayed in its case in my closet. I got a decent amount of sleep when I wasn’t staying up late watching movies or chatting with friends. I exercised a lot but burned out and took a couple of weeks off before school started up again.

But it was all great. I feel like a new person.

Sometimes it surprises me at how little people think—not about certain things, but anything, even about nothing.

This world is a noisy place. Our minds are noisy places. Don’t you wish there was a mute button for both the world and for our minds?

As I quoted in my blog post “Mad Cow”: “In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” – Deepak Chopra

For most of us, our first impulse when we get in a car, especially if we are going on a long drive, is to turn on the music. I admit, I’m the same way. But I continue to grow more and more fond of turning off the music, silencing my cell phone, and rolling the windows down. Then it’s just me, myself, and I in the car. Quiet.

Sometimes I think about things deeply. Everyone thinks about things, but this isn’t forced thinking or the thinking one does under pressure or in crisis.

And then sometimes, I enjoy just not thinking, maintaining a state of “no mind”. This is a meditative state that is practiced in people of almost all cultures and faiths. It's essentially about not worrying about the past, about what has happened, about the future, about what will happen—it’s about concerning oneself only with the present moment.

Because of this, I sometimes find myself forgetting about my current state of affairs. It’s not until I see people rushing somewhere or talking about playing sports that I remember that I am in a wheelchair. Maybe it’s because I have gotten used to who I am, physically and mentally.

As anyone can imagine, coming to terms with a physical disability is not an easy task. Certain people never grow accustomed, and they may end up committing suicide. Because my currents tasks require me to use my intellect, coming to terms with how differently I am now mentally has been harder for me over the past year. But I think I am getting there.

I still do think about the past and about the future, so don’t hold me accountable for any future thoughts, but I must say that I am much more at peace.

It’ll be alright.


  1. I always look forward to reading your blog posts :)

  2. excellent read, as always. it's good to see you in such a positive and hopeful place.

    best, Kisko ;)


  4. This reminds me of why I wanted to be ur friend in the first place...U'RE SO POSITIVE :)

  5. Thank you so very much everyone :)

  6. mA so proud of you Hammad! May you always be blessed with greatness! :)

  7. Hammad, you are so inspiring on a daily basis. I love reading your thoughts and am so proud to know you.