Power of the brain

As Heather and I walked along the Fullerton Loop Trail in Kananaskis Country, I started observing that I was missing all the tripping hazards.  My eyes were scanning ahead, looking up at the trees for birds and to the stunning view of the mountains on the other side of the valley.  What I was not doing was focusing all of my attention on the trail and the rocks and roots that peppered it. 

The brain, connected to the intricate system of nerves, including the optic nerve, was calculating everything on the path and communicating back to the body to walk in a particular way that kept us moving forward without bumping into something unexpected.  All of these calculations were being done at lightening speed and without any conscious thought on my part. 

It makes me think about how much of my painting employs this dynamic and limitless power of the brain.  After 1400 paintings, my brain has stored a lot of data about the process, brush strokes, colour combinations, techniques and myriad other details that have been tried and repeated over 6 years.  I often say that I don't spend a lot of time in my head when painting.  Perhaps the reason is that I allow my brain to do its work without getting in its way, similar to how I hike the mountain path. 

No matter what you are good at in life, think about the amazing tool that lies between your ears.  What are those things you do, that others might consider remarkable, that you do without thought?  I'll bet there are a few things.


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