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Everything happens to everybody sooner or later if there is time enough.
George Bernard Shaw

Every single insighting doesn’t really stretch itself to an essay. Nevertheless, they still want to be heard, or else they’ll keep mulling around inside my head like an insomniac in a sleeping bag.

1. Mental images make me a better singer.

I’m a fairly decent singer to begin with. I’ve been singing in my band, F.A.R.O, for about seven years now, and we practice about once a week or so. In yesterday’s band practice I had two little *ding!*s that both had to do with mental images and the power of my imagination.

First, my singing gets stronger if I imagine I’m singing from my heels. This has nothing to do with my actual heels and everything to do with the feeling of “channeling” the sound through my body up to my throat and mouth, thereby activating my supporting core muscles. The mental image also takes my mind off the actual singing, which is a purely positive thing once the song is familiar. Too much conscious effort just makes my singing sound contrived.

The other mental image insighting came when we were ad libbing a new song riff. As the singer, I have two things to mind when ad libbing: the melody and the lyrics. Mostly I just doo be doo happily along, but that leaves my conscious mind free to latch on to my melodies. “You’ve done that bit in at least a dozen songs already!”, “You’re totally ripping that off from the hit song on the radio!”, “Don’t even try to hit that high note, you’ll never reach it!”…

Yesterday, though, as I was listening to the riff and feeling the mood, a mental image came up in my mind’s eye. Rather than ignore it or let it float by, I started singing about the image, and about all the associations that came up with it. The rhymes weren’t necessarily Shakespearean, but – again – it took my conscious effort off the singing and onto the verbal content.

This has probably a lot to do with the fact that I’m a total amateur. I’ve never had any formal training and I’m really slow at reading music. When I ignore my mental censor, reminding me I don’t really know this stuff, my unconscious knowledge of music gets activated. Whoah.

2. Today’s Duh moment insighting

When making just one cup of coffee, it’s best to not start experimenting whether the milk in the oldest carton is still fresh enough.

Chances are it’ll look fine when you mix just a little coffee with just a little milk, and then when you pour in the whole cup the milk curdles.

Which would mean you’d have to throw out the coffee and set the coffee pot again. Just saying, you know, hypothetically.

3. The mysteries of driving in morning traffic

Contrary to a belief popular in Finland, the traffic does not, in fact, go any faster if you drive bumper to bumber with the car in front of you. Furthermore, any money you might save due to the aerodynamic benefit and the reduced gas cost will some day go toward fixing the fender when the traffic stops and you hit the breaks too late.

I’d like to dedicate this insighting to the driver of the Mercedes van that drove behind me and blinded my rearview mirror. Fortunately I didn’t get into a fender bender, so I can be less offended and irritated and more amused by all this. And grateful for not having to drive to work and back every day.

4. This thing about biting off more than you can chew

I’ve been gushing about my Master’s Thesis topic insighting for a few weeks now. I’m not yet writing my thesis, or doing actual research for it, but I’m still eagerly planning my research questions and methods and sampling strategies. The broad topic is using drama in EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teaching, and I need to narrow it down somewhat.

I thought I’d done a pretty good job narrowing it down already. Then, at lunch with a fellow student doing his thesis, I started to explain my plans for the research.

This brilliant Master’s Thesis topic? Turns out it’s a brilliant Dissertation topic. Time to keep narrowing it down. And down. And down. How much more specialised do you want me to be? (Suddenly, I hear Naomi’s voice in my head, talking about specializing your services.) Auugh. More thought work. More drilling down into the details of the details. Auugh.

On the other hand, now I’ve got my Dissertation topic all figured out, if I ever get that far. 🙂

Wishing you a lovely day, keep catching your insightings!

Love,

Sari

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