Taking a shower. Driving a monotonous road, and the kids aren’t asking me questions. Working out. The last few moments before drifting off to sleep.
These are all moments when I feel like I have the best ideas. Near epiphanies, sometimes. They sneak up on me like my daughter with an ice cube for the back of my shirt. In fact, I found in doing research my book that there’s scientific evidence for our brains finding its best ideas at rest.
When I sit in front of the computer, deliberately trying to remember what I need to look up or who I need to write, I’m at a loss. But give me a moment of silence when I’m about to pass out, and suddenly, all these ideas and to-dos come flooding my brain.
This isn’t accidental, actually. There’s something about letting your body rest that allows your brain to move. When you purposely allow yourself the freedom to just space out, you explore new fields and remember how to move.
Do you allow yourself the freedom to run on autopilot a few minutes each day? If you’re like me, it’s not as often as I should. Parents have so many mental balls to juggle—school schedules, dental appointments, menu plans, financial goals, discipline issues for each kid at various stages for different actions, not to mention work obligations.
Running a household and bringing up the next generation takes creativity. It requires out-of-the-box thinking to nurture hearts and guide children on the path they were meant to take. So does being an innovative thinker in your field, loving your spouse the way he or she best hears love, and being a helpful member of your community, whatever that looks like.
If you don’t give yourself the gift of downshifting a few times per day, you’ll ultimately run on auto-pilot, and your spirit will putter out. Your drive will wane. You’ll enjoy parenting less. You’ll resent all your other obligations.