Sometimes I just need a brain break. I’ve had to do that many times in my IT career. The brain of an analyst and thinker cranks away at solving problems and making never-before-seen connections and enjoys doing that. There are two opposing activities that inspire me: using my brain and feeding my soul.
Think until a breakthrough: I love coming into the office early to think. Think and research and then think some more. E-mail is off, the office is quiet and I just think. You get into that state of flow where there’s no concept of time. I allow my mind go on its own journey using the bits, pieces and connections it made all week long. Then, there’s that moment where you connect concepts or uncover things previously unseen. A breakthrough. Sudden and dramatic. It’s a great day if I get to come home and say, “Wow, I had very productive day today, let’s eat dinner!”
My favorite way to zone out and unwind is to go on a hike in the wilderness: I love to hike in places like Mt Rainier National Park or the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The first two hours, my brain activity is winding down. First I take in the fresh air, the feel of the cool mountain wind on my face, the smell of pine and wild flowers. I think about all the long spring and summer hikes I've done over the years and the joy it brings me. Finally, I reach this place where my mind finally goes silent. It’s like my brain is still and makes room for my soul to be at peace. Sometimes it feels so good; I just close my eyes and live at peace with myself. Yes, that intrepid-hiker in the dirty hiking shoes sitting in silence on the mountain is me. I try to be discreet, but this one particular hike, I passed a guy on the way down and he said “What were you doing up there?” Apparently, I’m not a very good meditating!
I love the silence of the wild and the peace you get where there are no humans.
I know, I know, more people are probably inspired by cute animals and sunsets, but for me there’s no better feeling than a breakthrough and stillness.
Enjoy what is left of summer!