Monday, June 4, 2007

The Brain: Engine or Caboose?

The Brain: Engine or Caboose?

  • Is your brain the engine or caboose?
  • When you think you're in charge do you find you're really following?
  • How might you learn to play both roles?

Just when I thought I had everything in order; bought a new iMac, climbed the steep learning curve getting closer to the summit, become well versed in the different native software programs, and developed a new product with ease using what I'd learned, I was ready to add one more thing to the mix and suddenly found myself following the lead of some sort of glitch. I went to install a new program, Filemaker Pro, because it came so highly recommended. I couldn't install it. I spent the next two-plus days at the Apple doctor. These folks are fabulous. With a smile, they greeted me three days in a row, and took the steps to get me back up and running which entailed wiping my hard drive clean and starting anew. I was in the process of moving my backed-up files onto the fresh drive and I did something that took me back to square one. Don't ask ... all I can say is I found myself once again at the Apple doctor just when I had deadlines to meet. On the fourth visit, all was resolved successfully and I was back on track. Hallelujah! Trust me I will be doing system backups on a REGULAR basis from now on!!
  • Consider a time when you thought you had everything under control, but each step along the way felt like a setback.
  • Did you totally lose it and find things spiraling? Or did you take it all in stride knowing the right person with the right answer would appear?
  • Go to a quiet place and write down the steps you took. If you spiraled, consider another way and re-write the script so you can do it differently the next time. Celebrate the solution.


The brain is a wonderful organ.
It starts working the moment you get up in the morning
and does not stop until you get into the office.

—Robert Frost
(1874 - 1963)


My Mind as an Unruly Child

by Lissa Ann Forbes

My mind can be an unruly child. Sometimes it wants to shut down and take a perpetual vacation, lounge beside gurgling water with songbirds playing their tunes, or just nap. Then sometimes it simply won't stop chattering and it wants to get into everyone's business, be the fix-it lady, and actually go out and find the solutions for everyone except me. Being helpful mixed with "look at me, look at me." Yes, I'm truly aware of what's going on.

It rarely finds an even pace: work—rest—work—rest. When resting, it's angelic, like a small child napping, eyes tracking slowly from side to side beneath translucent eyelids, limp with flaccid limbs, and slow rhythmic breathing. Thoughts float like big puffy cumulus clouds blowing across a clear blue sky. Then the breeze stops and a gentle thought cradles itself against the skull wall.

Occasionally the unruly mind wakes with a start and a critical voice, "Where have you been? You should be working. You must write. You must market. You must ... you must.

She wants to run away and focus on the endless sky with possibilities yet dreamt. New friends, new stories, new angles, new landscape.

There is a different aspect of the unruly brain child as well—the one that is so full of energy and so full of questions. The one that wants to drink up all the learning the world has to offer. Running in circles, twirling, jumping with raucous laughter.

Oh yes, this unruly child often runs rampant in my head. With the slightest suggestion of an idea she gallops off in all directions to gather seeds, and flowers, and leaves. To put together the puzzle pieces of life.

My favorite time of all is when she goes on a creative jaunt collecting the bits and pieces of a project. Often what she comes back with are things I never would have thought of--ways of saying things, ideas to make a presentation pretty or captivating, and bringing in an unusual, unique aspect that makes folks stand up and notice.

Lastly, there are occasions my mind has temper tantrums. Requests are made and my brain stands with hands on hips and either suggests nothing at all refusing to answer questions, or screams "no" relentlessly, "I don't want to do that, no ... no .... no." Sometimes I try to coax her, sometimes I tell her to stop being so stubborn, but mostly I find that if I allow her the tantrum or the time to dream, we get back to work, on track, more quickly.

Is your mind an unruly child too? I'd love to hear your successes and solutions.


Off the Shelf
Reading Resource:

Priestess Entrepreneur: Simple Truths for Creating Success in Your Business
by Cindy Morris, MSW

Cindy Morris' book is just what I needed to make sense of the entrepreneurial life. It can be exhilarating, adventurous, frustrating, challenging, and downright crazy-making. Reading Priestess Entrepreneur was like having a good friend take me by the hand, listen to my own story, and tell me it's all going to be okay. Cindy helps you understand not only the glories, but the pitfalls for running your own business and in the end shares why it's a journey worth traveling.

Whenever I feel discouraged, I open Cindy's book and find just what I'm looking for to spur me on. Encouragement, empathy, strength, and sheer joy and love of the process. This book is a companion worth holding hands with.

Available directly from Cindy Morris at or


To view DVD montage projects by Sacred Heartfelt Moments,
go to

From Write from the Inside: The Ezine, Issue #59, ISSN 1937-2574