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One fish, two fish....
Red Fish, Blue Fish

An easy way to slow things down and grow some brain matter.

I have to think a lot and love to over think. My mind races more often than not and I am constantly stimulated: TV, radio, iTunes, people, cell phone and of course coffee. There's really no content free zone because even when I unplug I'm exercising and that too is stimulation.

So I've tried another approach to slowing down and "unplugging" and it is wonderful.. Fish.

I've always had them in my life when I can, but they were pets then. Now they're more than that:

  • medication
  • art
  • conversation
  • relaxation
  • meditation

More importantly I think they're even a good energy thing for feng shui (sp?). I'm sure I have the tank in the wrong part of the house, but it's 110 gallons, weighs a cool half-ton and it's staying right where it is.

I work out of my house and that's a tough row to hoe when you need/must separate personal and business lives. My first smart move was to shove all of my business stuff into my smallest room and get it out of sight. Good move, that was. The second thing I did was set up a sanctuary in my house. This is neutral ground and it is fertile ground. Fertile Ground is what I call my think tank also. I am a bullshit artist and nothing's more fertile than that. So it's a nice place to sit and stew.

I have a circa 1950 split-level and you can see this tank from any floor and even when you're pulling up into the neighborhood. It's quite impressive. It brings calm. It's in the Fertile Ground of my domain and it is all that is necessary for peace. I can sit there for recreation, relaxation and meditation. Or I can go there to be inspired, clear my mind for new ideas or just sketch to get loose. Putting this tank into my home/office was the single best thing I've done for myself and my clients other than purchasing this kick-ass G5 dual-core behemoth of a work station I have.

Having an aquarium in your house or office is a wonderful diversion and it's healthy. And having living things around that are maintained and thriving bring a certain natural energy back into the more dead world of indoors. Surround it with plants and it is not a sink-hole but a geyser for pure amber energy.

Mine was professionally installed by Jamie from AJB Aquatics and it rules. He suggested many of the design features that now enthrall me and the tank is a work of art as a whole, never mind the cool fish in there that he, again, recommended. He intuitively knew what I was trying to accomplish with a respite and felt that harmony and lively energy were the key to my need for distraction, but calculated distraction. So we decided to go fresh water but make it look like a reef tank. It's clean. The fish are all from the same African lake so there is a harmonious relationship there. The tank still has a masculine quality as there are constant territorial battles but those are even very graceful and quite engaging. Jamie set the whole thing up and maintains it twice a month. He even shows up with a surprise fish every now and then and they are incredible. I have never seen some of these.

The tank is the crown jewel and center piece of my house. It's done several things:

  • Focused my personal routine
  • Created a sanctuary for a break from routine
  • Improved my brainstorming sessions
  • Gave me the focal point for designing the rest of my house
  • Created a gathering place for friends
  • 30 percent less television consumed
  • Great place to start the day with coffee
  • A living sculpture

That's it right there... a living sculpture. It always undulates, moves, is dynamic with currents and fish skitting about. It's a tangible three dimensional piece of art.

| patrick |

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