IGNITE YOUR LIFE: “Learn something new.” by Sarah Gish
“Learn something new.” is the eleventh way to ignite your life in my “IGNITE YOUR LIFE!” art project and community campaign (www.IgniteYourOwnLife.com) and the word associated with this concept is “LEARN.”
I went to an African dance class recently and it was all new to me! It was stimulating, both in mind and body, and I loved connecting with a new group of people – which woke up my spirit. Learning is like that – the more you learn, the more you connect, and the healthier you are.
As kids, we needed to learn for school to get a good grade. But there’s more to it than that – kids need to learn because it stimulates their brains. And the more kids are stimulated that way, the better decisions they’ll make and the more productive citizens they’ll become.
Learning comes about when neurons in the brain are fired, creating synapses. I first learned about how the neurons in our brains function in the book Now, Discover Your Strengths, which detailed brain physiology as it relates to our personality. Authors Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton wrote that from the time we are born, our brain begins to create synapses – billions and billions of them – that indicate where our attention is going. By the time we are 16 years old, however, about half of those billions have died out and it was thought that the brain’s growth slows down dramatically. However, since that book was published, scientists have discovered that our brains are still growing and developing until we are 25. This means that early care of our brain and stimulation to create more synapses is now more crucial than ever.
Adults no longer need to make good grades but we do need to have life-long brain expansion. My dad had dementia for nine years so I’ve spent a lot of time studying how to keep my brain sharp. I happened upon a fantastic program for the brain: neurobics, which you can explore at www.KeepYourBrainAlive.com. The term "neurobics" was coined by Lawrence Katz, Ph.D. and Manning Rubin and means exercise (aerobics) for the brain. They have all kinds of helpful ways to keep the brain alive and kicking, such as walking around a room with a blindfold, taking a different route home, introducing different and new smells. It was because of their research that I decided to add “learn” as a daily way to ignite your life. Using neurobics helps keep your memory intact while also maintaining your ability to learn new information. We know to exercise daily but we don’t always do a “check-up from the neck up.” It’s equally important to take care of our brain!
Another cool thing about learning is that it can ignite more curiosity. I learned some African dance moves, but now I want to learn more about the West African culture in general. And I’m sure that will lead me down many other paths. The internet can be an amazing treasure trove of information – we are in the “Age of Technology” – but be careful of doing too much armchair learning. Bringing in your five senses will enhance the experience and improve your brain the most.
“Learn something new.” is one of my twelve ways to ignite your life daily – ways that, if followed, will stave off addiction, depression, anxiety, and isolation. Being ignited for your life does that!
Sarah Gish is an igniter, a connector, an artist, a mother – and much more! See her work at www.GishCreative.com and contact her at email@example.com or 713.492.1173. She produces a weekly blog highlighting unique cultural activities for adults and kids in Houston, which is at www.GishPicks.com. Her IGNITE YOUR LIFE! art project is at www.IgniteYourOwnLife.com; the complete list of her “12 Ways to Ignite Your Life Daily” can be accessed there. Bracelets with words from the project are sold at Lucia’s Garden and the Unity of Houston bookstore. Sarah also does private intuitive guidance sessions on Mondays at Body Mind & Soul; to schedule one, please call the store at 713.993.0550.