Time to put on some spandex Print E-mail
News - Final Word
Monday, 22 June 2009 18:16
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Now this is going to sound a bit out there, so just bear with me. I’m asking you to take a journey to never-never land. The entrance to this magical place is your own cupboard door. Imagine opening the door and finding three superhero costumes: Superman’s, Cat Woman’s and Spiderman’s. Now imagine that you could have these superheroes’ powers just by putting on their costumes.

With Superman’s you’ll be able to fly; with Cat Woman’s you’ll see in the dark; with Spiderman’s you’ll walk on the ceiling. Okay, you can choose your own superheroes and try on their outfits. Anything you can dream of.

Would you dare use these powers? Author Cynthia Kersey says that, surprisingly enough, most people wouldn’t.

“They’d end up leaving the costumes in the closet, and wearing their plain clothes instead. The ones they’re comfortable in. The ones that offer no challenge. The ones that make them . . . unspectacular.” Cynthia says that, for most people, there are lines that we dare not cross, things that we dare not do, and all too often, dreams that we dare not dream even when we clearly have the abilities, powers and means to accomplish them. If it has been a while since you dared to dream, chances are you’re feeling listless, dissatisfied and uninspired.

We all know inspiration when we feel it. Strange, then, that we don’t chase after it. Somehow we expect inspiration to hit us out of the blue, to come out of nowhere, land smack-bang in our laps and lift us on to a higher level. Now here’s something most superhero fans know – you have to call your superheroes when in need of them. If you don’t call, they won’t rush to your rescue. If you do call, or even just utter a faint whisper, they’ll hear you and find you wherever you are.

Same with inspiration; it doesn’t come to those who wait. You have to find what inspires you and consciously cultivate it. This might be a walk in nature, an afternoon in an art gallery, re-reading your favourite quotes or visiting an off-beat friend. Can’t even remember what used to inspire you? Well, sometimes a new view is just what we need to find something we’ve been missing. And when I say ‘a new view’, I mean it literally. You might need to find yourself a treehouse, a perch on a roof or a rock on a mountain top to get away from everything that holds you to the ground. Come on, just try out the bird’s eye view of all that remains below.

Recent brain research tells us why this works. In ‘Brain Rules’ John Medina tells us that sitting still and focusing on two dimensions, such as a printed page, a computer monitor or TV screen, shuts down everything but a small piece of brain tissue devoted to logical reasoning. To use the rest of the brain, we need to recreate environments in which humans evolved. John’s research tells us that humans learn better when using all five of our senses and when moving rather than when sitting still.

Hey, and the new brain research also tells us that, due to the way we evolved, women are more likely to use a variety of sensory stimuli, rather than concentrate on one thing. Women are more likely to multi-task, to work while moving. So, when exactly was the last time you felt the spark of your imagination?

Or the last time you deliberately called on inspiration? It was probably the last time you weren’t forcing yourself to concentrate on two dimensions; the last time you didn’t force yourself to cut off most of your senses; the last time you let go of familiar surroundings; when you opened that cupboard door and selected your superhero outfit for the day.

So, go build that tree house. Part the branches and shout: I am woman. Hear me roar! Come on, girlfriend, it’s time to put on some spandex.

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