Sunday, March 4, 2012

Off the Leash - The benefits when I unchain my brain

Recently I have had several bouts of Overwhelmed-Itis.  This is when I have too much to do and stay too busy for too long that I either become paralyzed and cannot manage even the simple tasks or I collapse from exhaustion.  And when I refuse to collapse, then my back goes out or something equally disabling. 

Between my very busy 40 hour/week job at a local hospital and the documentary I am working on in my "spare" time, my brain is chained to a "to-do list" all the time.  If I'm not at work thinking about what needs to be done there, I am elsewhere thinking about what needs to be done for the documentary.  Add to that my family and friends and my desire to stay connected with them... play dates become an item on the "to-do list" as well!  Not to mention trying to keep my house clean!

Last week my house was an embarrassing mess.  I was seriously considering buying a hazmat suit to tackle the kitchen.  It was disgusting.  Plus I had a meeting scheduled last Sunday with one of the board members for  the documentary- and it was supposed to be here at my house! Usually inviting somebody over is good motivation to clean.  And that had been the plan for last Saturday.  Spin class then clean the rest of the day in preparation for the meeting.  

Luckily I followed my instincts on that important plan of attack.  And my instincts said "Let your brain off the leash.  Unchain it from the to-do list.  Let it wander freely wherever it wants to go for the whole day!" This, of course, meant avoiding the kitchen...I considered putting yellow "warning" tape across the door to my kitchen so I wouldn't have to encounter the nastiness growing in and around my sink.  And I moved the board member meeting to a local coffee shop. 

Aside from running the risk of having my house condemned by the health department, I am SO GLAD I let my brain off the leash last weekend.  I had been feeling overwhelmed and uninspired about the documentary for a few weeks.  By letting my brain off the leash to wander, it instinctively found inspiration in piles of seemingly wasted time watching several TED Talks in a row.  I allowed myself the luxury of a TED-a-thon and, as usual, they gave me inspiration.  For the documentary and the TED Talk I might be giving on April 7th.  

In summary, keeping my brain chained to a list of tasks leaves no room for God to fill my brain with His inspiration, truth, and GRACE.   

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Education Synchronicity and Me

As I work on the documentary project, I am doing research on how to make "my" documentary as effective as possible by watching other documentaries.  To keep me on task with this, I have an ongoing list of documentaries in my Netflix queue.  For some unknown reason, and without really having time in my day to do so, I watched "Waiting for Superman" yesterday. 

As I watched, I was noticing what caught my attention and what kept my attention.  And my mind wandered to thoughts of my own education, how teachers always said my grades would be better if I applied myself, and how the thought of being in a classroom long hours sounds like torture to me.  I also thought about a couple of TED Talks by Sir Ken Robinson that address the problems of the current education system.  I am a big fan of Sir Ken Robinson- his ideas about teaching and learning resonate with me and inspire me.  

At the end of "Waiting for Superman" I was mostly disengaged and felt sad about the education system in the U.S.- and hopeless that it will ever be fixed.  I don't have any children, so I could not really relate to a parent's passion for wanting their child to have a good education.  On top of that, I was always a mediocre student (as referenced above).  Yet, I consider myself a very intelligent woman and I love to learn.  I just have a "meh" attitude about "traditional" education.  Thus the admiration for Sir Ken! 

So, imagine my surprise (and delight) when, as I sat in a church service where I go for corporate worship (Crossroads), to make a point about a special aha moment- my pastor showed this clip:

My pastor explained that the actual subject of education had little to do with his "aha" learning.  But that the notion of failing due to using a teaching approach established for a different time in history spoke to him.  

I think this is what was so scandalous about how Jesus taught while he was physically walking the earth.  He upset so many pharisees because He used non-traditional approaches to teaching the people about God's character, love, truth and grace.  It is this demonstration of God's character that resonates with me when I listen to Sir Ken Robinson- even though he is not talking about God.  And it is this complex yet simple illustration of God's truth and grace that I intend to use as inspiration while putting the documentary vision on film.