When I relax great ideas pop into my brain

Water

When I try to go to sleep at night, especially lately, ideas about what I want to do or write pops up in my brain. When I shut my eyes for three minutes I start to think and it sounds like this; Oh, I could write about that! or I want to try to make something like this, and… A whole series of articles will be composed in a matter of minutes, and in my head I have a summery of the content for each piece! This never happens when I sit down by the computer to work. This almost never happens during the day, because in the daytime there are so much other thoughts that constantly are rolling around in there.

Other ways for me to get my brain working is to take a long walk in nature and let my thoughts wander. I once took a long walk along the river, and when I came back I had a finished short story in my head ready to write down. It was a crazy story, but I had to write it down fast because the whole beginning was finished word for word and I knew exactly how I wanted to put down each characters and the plot.

If you have ever tried meditation you know that when you try really hard to let your thoughts go (not to focus on them you have the hardest time doing so. A lot of great ideas pop into your brain when you stop thinking, or at least when you try to stop thinking. It is not easy at all to stop thinking; our brains don’t have a pause or shut down button. Even in our sleep the brain is working.

I think it is possible to entirely stop thinking, but only if you concentrate with great effort and practice for many years. I learned the technique of meditation in a Buddhist monastery retreat, but never got more than maybe one minute of good concentration. I think that you can develop your creative thinking a lot buy meditating on a regular basis. And no, I’m not doing it at all right now, unfortunately. I think it is difficult to find time for everything I want to do each day. The difference between what I call Meditation (there are lots of ways to do this, my way is using anāpānasati ? mindfulness through breathing) and just relaxing when you are walking is just that; very different! Relaxing the brain when you walk makes the thoughts wonder freely, as it also does when you are very tired. When I meditate I concentrate really hard not to think At All! Every thought I see I ignore, until the brain is quiet.

Maybe it is a similar phenomenon that happens when I try to sleep as when I go for a walk; I stop doing stuff every minute and my brain relaxes. As the brain empties of daily chores, planning ahead and getting on with the day, it starts to work on its own. I stop using my body for tasks I want to do or have to do. I just lie down and relax. Or take a walk where the legs go into auto pilot and move me forward.

It is then that all the web pictures I have seen during the week intermingles with recently read books, TV-shows I have seen, things I?m making and dreams about the future. It then starts to bubble of hot fire like the melting pot that my brain is. The input of the week or month becomes the output of my brain. Really it is the result of all the years I have lived that now pops out as a new idea.

Pling!

I write it down and close my eyes. I try to sleep again, listening to my own breathing. I relax all the mussels in my body and try to think about nothing special. Then another idea that I would like to try pops up.

Pling!

The more I think about it the more interesting it sounds. I could really do it ? I could! My heart is beating faster, I feel restless. I want to try to find out more information and work on this right now. I will – in the morning. I shut my eyes again and try to sleep.

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9 Responses to When I relax great ideas pop into my brain

  1. KG says:

    Hi Hanna!

    Thanks so much for your visit and your comment.

    You are really onto something by keying into a relaxed brain. I’ve done many different types of meditation in my life, and I find that yoga also helps my brain grab ideas and pull them out of the air. I’m most relaxed at the end of yoga, and it’s amazing how focussed I am at the same time.

    Is that your collage at the post’s top? Wonderful!

  2. Elisabeth says:

    *hehe* I have precisely the same! All day long, I can go and never get inspired to do anything, but when I try to fall asleep, I see paintings, knitted stuff, crochet, all sorts of crafty things I want to make! But I never get to write it down (lights have to be out for it to happen I suspect), and in the morning I wake up with a feeling of a lot of exciting things I could go and do, but I can’t remember a thing of what it was!
    I think I’ll start meditating when my exam is over – the brain sure does need all the rest it can get, and if I get more creative doing that, then it’s just a big fat bonus for me ^_^

  3. cecilia says:

    I know the feeling! Last semester I did yoga once a week and it really helped me organize both my creative and school thoughts. Now, I haven’t even started my semester and I can’t sleep at nights because of all new ideas popping up in my head! I won’t have time to do yoga this semester at all!!

    Been reading your blog for a couple of months now and really love it, both the crafting and the articles/posts!

    :-) from Cecilia

  4. Iris says:

    Great collage!

  5. I love your collage! I can relate very well to your words too – a relaxed brain and a country walk certainly help me come up with ideas!

  6. claudia says:

    You should make a head collage like mine to get the ideas on the outside : http://chestofdrawers.blogspot.com/2007/01/sunday-scribblings-42-i-have-idea.html

    I love that collage with the feet in the water, beautiful!

  7. Beautiful collage.

    I also come up with lots of ideas when doing other things or relaxing, but by the time I get to a point where I could work on them, I’ve already forgotten them (even if I write them down, I forget that I wrote them down, so I don’t go look). How do you remember to work on the ideas?

  8. Amy says:

    Tthe collage is great, makes me ache for summer weather. I guess I shouldn’t complain, I do live in Florida. I also do some of my best thinking at night. It’s a catch 22..I get a lot of ideas worked out, however, I have an early wakeup call with a 3 year old!

  9. trish says:

    how long were you there? at the Buddhist monastery retreat? It sounds like it would be a wonderful experience!!

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