A Ritual of Incubation

I went to sleep last night wondering what on God’s green earth I am going to blog about today, and woke up with ideas for three niche sites. One is web design related and may not be practical, but is worth looking at for several reasons. One has to do with literature and would be rewarding, though it could involve some serious work. One would be a whole lot of fun to get started – it’s one of those “like being a kid again” projects, without the air guitar.

I slept like a baby and woke up with three site maps and a couple link building strategies dancing in my head. If only a small slice of these ideas becomes part of something I make and enjoy, I’m still ahead. Not bad for a good night’s sleep.

How did I get from “what in the world am I going to blog about,” to two and a half new ideas for niche sites? Methinks it was ritual. Readiness plus ritual can stack the decks in our favor.

Often, when I go to bed at night, I review achievements and feel-goods of that day, then reflect on what is still on the to-do list, and drift towards picking one or two things to promise myself I’ll work on the following day. I fall asleep envisioning success with some specific thing or other.

I got into that habit out of desperation: I am an insomniac par excellence. Using some sort of positive focus helps me limit what my mind is doing and get to sleep. Herb tea doesn’t do it. An extra glass of wine works only as long as my head is fuzzy. Identifying something I am bugged about getting done and imagining steps towards achieving it with a positive and yet passive focus is the magic key. It works.

More often than not the result is no more spectacular than a peaceful night’s sleep, and my dreams don’t usually have a direct application to the practical world. Once in a while the dream experience is like taking a tour through real world possibilities. Problems get solved, or ideas are born.

I promised to write about whatever would help me develop a foundation of my brand. What’s the relationship between waking up with ideas and what I want for my brand?

Faith? Encouragement? Making problems simple, letting go of the big picture, concentrating on the achievement of small and positive steps? Giving one’s self credit for setting the stage?

I’ll be dreaming on it.