Brain Stimulation and the New Year

Just as I was planning for the new year, I ran across an article in Real Simple Magazine, Happy New You!, where the author Miranda Silva quoted Sandra Bond Chapman, a cognitive neuroscientist . . . The brain is stimulated by two things: innovation and motivation. It hates predictability. It shuts down.” The statement sounds like a challenge to me. It sounds like sound research is telling me to calendar in the good stuff. The fun stuff. The stuff that I collect info on but don’t always find the time. In other words, if your type A and busy, it sounds like a very reasonable justification for doing something out of the necessary. I don’t think it gets better than that – – if you are type A and busy.

Along these lines, I haven’t quite decided what I am going to do this year. I went back to an adult ballet class just before Christmas. It has been 15 years since I danced and I really loved it. I love the connection between the body and the brain. I love remembering all of the French words. And, it was very fun. I suppose without really thinking about, that is one of my old new things for this year.

I have a sermon swimming through my brain. It’s taking me a few minutes to pull the preacher, thoughts and verses together, but I remember clearly: What is your one thing? In light of your talents, callings, surroundings, what is your one thing? I wish I could remember more, but I recall saying to my dear friend Shannon not long after hearing the sermon – – Try not to be pulled in any direction, but the go in the direction the Lord is leading you to. This year, the Lord is leading me to be a good friend. To care about my brothers and sisters and show them in lovely ways, encouraging ways. To me, that is very fun, important work. The fun part is coming up with creative, personal ways to touch a friend. The important part is that we all need each other. There is nothing worse than not pouring into a friend when the Lord made you to pour in at that very moment.

If I had to define what I love about Christianity, it’s the moment where you encouraged and loved just where God planned you to and the other person knows it. Whatever happens in that moment is what makes Christianity real to me. Whatever it takes to get there, to that connection point, I want to be there as often as I can. Seems that Sandra Bond Chapman’s comments make a lot of sense. Innovation and motivation keep us inspired. Be creative in what moves you in the new year. I don’t think there could be a more perfect way to start 2014.

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