Clearly, I don't mean you should be juggling more task, jobs, responsibilities etc... I mean actual juggling... Like this:
My pal Rick brought some juggling balls into the studio last week (for reasons unknown)... And it turns out I'm the only one in there who can actually use them properly.
Now, I'm not very good, but I can do a simple 3 ball cascade and keep it going for a few minutes (sometimes)... It's not a skill I've used for years, though.
Since they've been in the studio though, I've been picking them up and having a juggle every now and then to get a little break from my screen.
This morning (Sunday) I was in the studio on my own catching up on some boring admin-type stuff and I decided to juggle for a while in silence to see if I could get into a meditative state.
I set a timer on my phone for 10 minutes and started to throw and catch, throw and catch...
In the interests of full disclosure, I dropped the balls a number of times, maybe 4 or 5.... But I just picked them up and got straight back to it.
I looked at it like when you get distracted during meditation, just re-find your focus and start again.
But it was totally unlike my normal meditation.
I found myself not thinking of anything else at all... Zero distractions... At least, I don't remember any.
I just remember noticing the weight and feel of the juggling ball as it entered and left my hand.
I was thinking about the height I was throwing them, the speed they were moving.
I felt immersed in the flowing motion of the balls and eventually reached a kind of 'no mind' stillness... I can sometimes get there through meditation, but it can take a Hell of a long time.
When the timer went off I carried on for a few moments before letting the balls drop to the floor.
Instantly I felt more alert; almost like having a caffeine boost or something similar.
Being intrigued, I did a little research online about the benefits of juggling, just to scratch a curious itch.
I found it can improve your ambidexterity, coordination, balance, concentration... And a 2004 study even showed it increased the amount of grey matter in the brains of subjects who learned to juggle over a 3 month period. [Source]
For me, though, the thing that excites me most is the focused mental state it gets you into.
Using juggling to reset my brain between tasks could be a great way to clear down and start the next project in a better frame of mind.
This is something I'm definitely going to continue doing.
I'll report back (hopefully with a video) when I've learned a few of tricks in the video above.
Now go and play with your balls. (Sorry, not sorry)