Someone once asked how Adam and Eve knew what to do while attempting to have sex. I said, how do new born babies know to suckle?
A few days ago at work I was attempting to sum a row of figures manually with a calculator. After minutes of mechanically punching figures, ticking cells with a pen and scrolling to the next with my finger, I paused. How exactly was I doing this again? I asked myself. What was the sequence: Did I tick first, hold down with my finger before tapping out the numbers on my calculator; or was it the number first, tick and movement with my fingers? I shuffled the various possible sequence in my mind for a while before admitting to myself I was confused and started over!
Now how often do we stop to second guess our rhythm? How often do we pause to unravel something that has worked (somehow) for so long, and then one day we try to make sense of it? If we’re unlucky we’ll totally lose it, end up confused, expend energy, waste time and start all over again. And for what really? We simply refused to trust ourselves.
There’s an obvious role the brain plays in the human body. Aside cognitive functions, it’s also responsible for muscle coordination. The human brain has been used as a blueprint for many items of modern technology, ranging from computers to memory chips. I trust my phone to vomit whatever music has been downloaded months from today. I trust my lap top to run numbers and produce answers in a matter of seconds. What this tells me is that I can also trust my brain to understand a sequence the first few seconds I initiate it AND coordinate my muscles to imitate that pattern even when my mind is tuned off.
It’s amazing how that simple, perfect function of the brain is so easily forgotten.
When I visited the town I inhabited while growing up over a decade after moving away, I wasn’t sure I’d remember my way around. I was not certain of the routes, the narrow bush paths we’d marked out as kids. I couldn’t trust myself to even locate the homes of my childhood friends. Until I stepped off the bus, tuned of my thinking cap and just moved. The result was remarkable. I remembered everything… or at least my brain did. While I obsessed over my abject lack of a sense of geography, this wonder of the human body pulled out old dusty files from the archives and simply coordinated my movement. It’s a lot like being on cruise control.
Today it’s easy to remind myself not to obsess over things and fret. There is an obvious danger in over-thinking and over-analyzing: You could lose everything. Now, I simply tune off and trust my brain to work it out.