Incubation, or "maintenance of conditions favorable for hatching, development, or reaction" is a well-known idea in the business and farming community. I'm also noticing its relevance in education and creative production.
As I've focused on developing a practice of mindfulness over the last handful of years and have anecdotally compiled research from applying this practice to teaching and consulting, I continue to notice a greater need for incubation time, both in myself and in my clients.
In fact, the common denominator of my Teacher Tales blog series the past several weeks has been about student breakthroughs born from permission to incubate.
Humans innately come with a persistent need for meaning derived from creativity. The thing is: we can't always expect ourselves to perform creatively and it's not possible to consistently find meaning on the front end of our experiences.
We need time, gentle attention, warmth, and space to incubate these experiences.
There's something intoxicating about the power of possibility that emerges when we choose to slow down and attune to our surroundings. Possibility can only dwell in an imagination ignited by a moment of presence met with delight.
The desire for meaning and sensory experiencing is hardwired into our design, which may be one of the biggest blessings and curses depending on how we steward that knowing.
If we feel like we are in pursuit of that greater sense of meaning, we can align our internal circuitry to view our fears, failures, and flaws as tinder for the fire of becoming. But, this work is not for the faint of heart and again, time to slow down for renewal and the releasing of expectations becomes integral to our inner evolution.
Fires can catch quickly, but even embers need the incubation of gentle airflow and fodder.
Whether we aware of our big dreams or not yet, it's the time and space of intentional incubation that will light our way forward. My question to you is: how will you give this to yourself? My question for me: how can I bring greater permission to live out this knowing in my teaching and creative practices?
Slow down and allow those wild pangs to lead you to living in wonder. Relieve yourself and others from the expectations of production and notice small miracles. This is the answer to how I will begin, again.