Starting today, we’ll learn more about a series of daily personal practices that can transform our creative lives. Note that Jonathan uses science to support his recommendations, and that’s great. But we have another source of wisdom that introduced these concepts thousands of years ago. It’s fun to see how science has caught up.
As you learn more practical applications this week, think back through how Proverbs often shares the same instructions – though not always in a modern, actionable way.
To “training” together,
Train Your Brain: Step 1 – Attentional Training
Attentional Training (AT) is a catch-all phrase for a wide variety of techniques that create certain psychological and physiological changes in your body and brain.
Active AT is how the vast majority of people get their AT in. Many of us invoke the majoe elements of AT, without even realizing it, as we engage in specific types of sports and pursue serious hobbies like painting, composing or playing music, knitting, or outdoor activities. The two expressions of this approach tend to be found in activities that are either:
– driven by novelty, speed, and an extended, intense state of concentration that is “imposed without effort” by the requirements of the activity, or
– repetitive, deliberate, and done in an environment that provokes comfort, lowers your guard, and does not require vigilant attention to rapidly changing circumstances, allowing you to melt into that elusive “zone” state.
An example of the first is trail running, which requires intense observation, concentration, and adjustment to rapidly changing, high alert environment; track or quiet road running is an example of the second.
Repetition of a sound, word, prayer, or chant also requires a certain amount of automatic focus. If your mind wanders off, the repetition and rhythm stop. Other approaches, such as mindfulness, require more effort. Regardless of the approach, anyone can learn and develop a daily AT practice. Explore the approaches that come easiest to you, but also dance with the one or two that pose the greatest challenge. They may contain keys that unlock far bigger doors for you.
“Prayer may not change things for you, but it for sure changes you for things.”
– Samuel M. Shoemaker
Today, I will practice feeling the fear and choosing to move forward anyway. I will do one thing that scares me.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.