Sometimes when I am reading a book I try to make myself slow down by insisting to myself to read every word out loud in my head.

I used to encourage my students to do this in exams. Read every word out loud in your head – you will understand it better. Or pinch your hand a tiny bit as a learned instruction to your brain to focus and breathe and read each word.

I was thinking to myself the other day that I did not need another slice of freshly baked bread slathered with butter and local honey. I had already eaten a whole slice with lots of butter with my hot cup of gumboot tea so I certainly did not need another slice – anyway you slice too thick my out-loud on the in-side voice said. So, I used the outloud on the inside voice and told myself, no. I put away the knife, rewrapped the bread in its sweet cotton bread bag, put the top on the honey, shelved the butter in the fridge and left the kitchen.

And it struck me that if I think my thoughts in my outloud on the inside voice – particularly with drama class articulation- I do tend to listen more and make better decisions.

But, like reading, I seldom think in coherent hearable thoughts. Plus I seldom pause and call up this clear inner voice. Usually it is as I imagine space would be – just a wild collection of neuronic, no not neurotic, neuronic sparks and reactions, deep quiet, dark space and bright star lights in the distance.

If I am looking for my farm knife ( and I am always looking for my farm knife) I seldom think with my inner voice – there are no key words- I just wander about forgetting what I was looking for – keeping myself busy until I remember what I was looking for or even remember I was looking at all and it is more a flash of orange in my head ( the farm knife is orange) rather than an actual useable thought. And when I find it I add the knife to my pocket and head for my boots. I only think about the boots if I can’t find them then we go through the whole space like process again. Though, just to be clear, I seldom lose my boots! Neuronic. The thought seldom hits an alphabetic neuron.

I imagine that if I tried to force my brain to think in words poor brain would get tired fast? Do you think? There is so much black unchartered space to cover. I think this is why I love making bread as opposed to making mathematical tables. Bread has no words it is all touch. Also why I love to write – the words are easily retrievable when I write. I do form words as I write.

So, how do you think? Are you linear? Do you make mental lists. Do you think out loud in your head? Do you have a running dialogue in your head? When you think about what you are going to do today is it in words or pictures or reactions or are you neuronic too? We must all organize our thoughts differently which is perfect – after all diversity is healthy.

Do you remember the standing on one leg theory. That we can create an action that forces coherent thought. Stand on one leg, get your balance, breathe, focus. For me this forces me to stop and read my mind out loud in my inner voice and things are usually much clearer when I do that. Just like reading every word on the page. So much better.

I have no other pictures. So here is WaiWai making his bed.

I went around all the pigs houses yesterday afternoon to add more straw and WaiWai was so excited he got straight to work pushing the straw into a high mound. Later when I came to cover him with his blankets he had totally disappeared into his straw. Deep into the mound he had created in his own little way. I spread the blankets on top of the mountain of straw. He loves to be covered up. All my other grown pigs sleep on top of their straw. Wai gets right in.

Sheila has spent a lot of time carrying straw into her house a mouthful at a time. I did not need to add any to her house- I just pushed more straw closer to the door. She does her own housekeeping.

We all love our beds.

Time to bake this mornings bread! It is 100% calumet – whole kernel Glenn. I am giving myself an extra hour before going to work today because I am also making croissants! For the first time. They will be baked tomorrow so I will let you know! I do the laminating stage today. Lots to learn.

Pete the Baker – are you reading this morning? Got any tips? I know you make the best croissants!

Love celi

PS you can buy my organic cotton holiday bread bags on the janiesmill website. ( our new site is almost finished but not quite). I have created holiday flour gift bundles. They are up already but will be prettier on the new site. Remember to write F after your name on the order form so I can pop your Fellowship gift in with your flours!.

47 Comments on “HOW DO YOU THINK

  1. First, I have an ongoing dialog in my head at all times. So I totally relate to the voices…and to the advice about reading “outloud” to yourself in your head to make things stick…which is something I ALWAYS say to my girls when they are studying. I encourage them to read everything as if it were a fascinating story (even if it doesn’t look like one; i.e. history textbook.) Second, I just took a lovely trip through the Janie’s Mill website. It’s SO nice! I wish I were local and could buy the flour and support all that good work and effort. Third, I was thrilled to see POLENTA CAKE on the website! Very popular in Italy! And yummy. What else…I did quite a lot of research on my “what to do with leftover bread” project form last summer. If I work up a small booklet do you think they’d be interested in using it? Love watching Wai make his bed. Dear, sweet, persistent fellow.

  2. I make endless lists; the act of putting it down on paper and seeing it seems to set it in my mind. I think and devise actions with pictures, my brain learns best visually. I picture words and numbers, I visualise my hands doing things. I must try your trick of listening to an inner voice to see if it works better!

  3. Morning Dear 🙂 Once I’ve done the layering I freeze the croissant dough then thaw it when I need it. I find it comes up crispier in the end. I’ve found the dough will be fine frozen for about a month. I’ve been meaning to make a set of videos on how to make mine, with Christmas coming I’ll need to make croissants.
    As to thinking, my brain is influenced by two things. I’m ADD and a systems thinker. With ADD the basic issue is you don’t notice you have been distracted which means always going off on tangents. Reading and writing are quite difficult for me because each word triggers another idea and I have to fight to stay on task. With systems thinking, everything is connected and process is the key to every task. If I do this then there is another step that naturally follows. “The knee bone is connected to the leg bone…” I always have a dialogue going. When I’m running my chain saw I’m constantly talking inside assessing each action, how the wood is behaving and moving, where my feet are, what little things have I done wrong; it’s kept me accident free for 50+ years.

  4. Love the video of Wai making his castle, reminds me of a much younger Sheila.

    Lists are great, but must be memorised before leaving home. I usually leave them at home anyway. Lists in-store annoy me when the store doesn’t stock items in order of list, or I lose my pen and can’t cross items off. Some times I do forget things but usually find that I have bought something else extra, so fair exchange, right? Laura

  5. I am a list maker as I tend to think the physical act of writing something down will cement it in my head– until I forget the list!
    I often feel as if my brain never rests. There are constant conversations going on in there…not imagined strange voices mind you but just me, talking away with myself. Sometimes a few out loud words thrown in as well 😉

  6. I love your “inside thinking” description. The Wai Wai video is great. I am a list maker. What a great topic on talking to yourself. I talk to myself all the time. I have so many ideas that fill my brain I must write down the things I need to remember. When my wife mentions we need something from the store or that she used the last of some item, I tell her “Write it down”.
    I also organize my list for each store so I can get our favorite product or deal.

  7. Reading, “particularly with drama class articulation…” Yes, you can most definitely ‘hear’ everything better and then recall it more easily in your mind’s ear: )
    Loving the idea of neuronic thinking!

  8. Lots to think about as often happens reading your posts. Sometimes I just smile … as when I picture Wai Wai making his mountain of straw to burrow into and Sheila carting her bedding in her mouth.

    I get brilliant cooking ideas/inspiration while going through facebook posts and reading the blogs I subscribe to, so, cause I know I’ll forget the, I’ve taken to adding the ideas to a file on the computer called mealideas2.txt. That way, I can add the things needed to a shopping list in case I actually make them.

    PS: mealideas1.txt is a compilation of complete meals ie protein, starch veg for when I’m stuck for ideas. Arranged by protein. 🙂

    I don’t know if I’m just getting old or it’s a sign of living alone but I tend to recite, out loud, where I’m going when I get up from in front of my computer. Into my bedroom to get dressed (as now) or downstairs to make a second cup of coffee cause it’s chilly in the big old house. Cause I get distracted when I notice something that I really should do on the way to wherever I was going when I get up.

  9. I couldn’t survive without lists! Been that way for my whole life. And I talk to myself all the time too, but it’s nice when the dog’s around… People think I’m talking to him then. GRIN!

    I totally get the “thinking out loud in your head” thing too. It really does help. As a professional proofreader, I can tell you that that reading text aloud (really aloud, with your vocal-cords voice) is absolutely essential for clarity and grasp of detail. I even follow the words with my finger when I’m reading aloud—that slows the brain even more, altho my early grade school teachers would not have liked to see me doing that! If “aloud” works so well with the written word, why wouldn’t it be the same for “inside the head” words? Just sayin’…


  10. Smilingly agree with most said ! Being a typical Gemini I talk with myself all the time rather than to myself ! Oh the ‘inner me’ oft criticizes the ‘outer me’ but, on the whole, we get along just fine 🙂 ! speak aloud when very happy or absolutely furious with myself . . . And I live on very organized lists – it is so good to be able to tick matters off as they are accomplished and be able to devise logically which should be passed onto the morrows . . . I have quite a few weak habits as far as ‘I, myself and me’ are concerned but organization is not one of them . . . 🙂 ! Sadly my Wai appeared all black . . . my beloved Internet Explorer needs to be superannuated . . .

  11. I write lists…..only way I stay organized, but it’s only for thing I do outside the home…inside I have a mental check-off list! I just ordered some flour and the bread bag….Christmas gift for me! I am looking forward to exploring different flours and how they taste and work! Happy day to you!

  12. Whenever I write a blog entry or a comment I say it out loud in my mind. I want each word to flow in a sonorous prosody.

  13. I have words and dialogues going through my head all the time. Sometimes it drives me crazy and I wish I could turn it off and just have the ‘space’ you talk about, but mostly I just live with it (don’t have a choice really, do I :)) It does get terribly tiring though. The upside is that I rarely get distracted or forget anything, it’s like while I am talking in my head, I am filing all the bits of information away neatly in case I need to pull it back up again, a bit like a computer really. I hardly ever forget where I have left anything, because I can go to the ‘file’ and bring up exactly where I had it last. My mother said I could do this even as a child. It is interesting seeing how different people process thoughts. And I think my thought process is changing as I get older too.

    • That is interesting – how your mind works . With my total space head I lose EVERYTHING all the time because of some kind of lack of consciousness. I lose my car is the car park with monotonous regularity !! I am going to try and talk out loud in my head about stuff more often – maybe I won’t lose stuff as much. What an amazing retrieval system you have!

  14. Holidays make it hard to keep my mind in one place so I had to come back here now that my brain is out of my hip pocket. Loved the video. I want to go in and cover him myself to keep him warm. The baking of bread and croissants is quite an art and you seem to be the artist. I’m going over to check out the holiday bags. Keep warm, all of you.

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