Gratitude Confession #2: The Art of Deliberate Daydreaming!
I am a podcast addict. I have about eight podcasts that I listen to regularly, and most of them are long-form interviews. If I’m home and not reading or writing, it’s a good bet that I’m listening to a podcast. Laundry, dishes, cleaning, organizing, painting, getting dressed—all of these activities are greatly enhanced by listening to the fascinating responses of interesting people to provocative questions of a good interviewer. I’ve written before about my fave podcasts, but today I want to focus on what might be my all-time favorite podcast, and that comes from Jeffrey Davis of Tracking Wonder. This year, he has produced 12 absolutely superb interviews of people who are highly worthy of being interviewed. Each one of them creative, authoritative, insightful, and inspiring in their own unique ways. I have listened to all of these podcasts more than once. They are that good.
The idea I’d like to share with you today is a notion that I learned from Jeffrey years ago when I was regularly attending his Yoga and Writing retreats in Taos, New Mexico. And here comes the idea again in his podcast 4 of this series. It's the practice of deliberately daydreaming. What??
Yes, this is good news. Research in the workings of the brain now shows that the brain functions more efficiently and more creatively when given opportunities to release into a kind of daydream-like state. Of course a lot of us have a knack for doing this—but maybe not quite as intentionally as what Jeffrey suggests we should. Letting the brain move into reverie with the intention of dropping the tight focus required of high-level cognition can accelerate insight and creative problem solving.
Don’t you wish you had known this in third grade when you were chastised by your teacher for daydreaming?
“We must take time to be idle and blessed, so we can pause long enough to change what needs changing in order to get done what really matters.”
So gratitude confession #2 is for my friend/teacher/mentor Jeffrey Davis, for giving me (the hard-driving race horse) permission to slow down, look around, let go of thoughts, and allow my mind to wander (and wonder). But also for more: for his wisdom, his inspiration, his beautiful way of seeing and living in the world. He is my role model for how to live the good life. Thank you, Jeffrey!
So is there a podcast that comes into your home on a regular basis, one that makes you happier, smarter, more informed, more inspired? Have you considered how fortunate you are to get the words, direction, the vision of people you admire and respect with the touch of a few keys? It’s pretty darned amazing, isn’t it?
And it’s also amazing how quickly we become accustomed to easy access to these opportunities for growth. But like any other life experience you're wanting more of, it's a good idea to stop for a minute and take in the rich feelings the experience elicits—to note them, name them, and appreciate them. In this way, you are inclining your brain to seek (and to create) more of these experiences. This is what neuro-psychologist Rich Hanson calls hardwiring the brain for happiness.
So today, I am taking Jeffrey’s advice and heading out the deck with a good book, which I will put aside fairly quickly. I have some daydreaming to do.
And tomorrow morning, when I write in my TIA Journal, first item in the “thank” section will be for Jeffrey Davis and his inspiring concept of deliberate daydreaming!
Who do you want to "note, name, and appreciate" today? Do it in your TIA Journal and you'll find your happiness-meter rising daily.