“By going out of your mind, you come to your senses.”
—Alan Watts, 20th Century British-American philosopher
Image from Unsplash by Zac Durant
Have you ever considered that going out of our minds was a good thing?
Not in the One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest way, but in a quieting the inner voice/monkey mind way.
During a recent meditation session, the instructor led me through an exercise that focused on each of the five senses. With this shift of focus, I noticed a considerable reduction and even a few momentary stoppages of mental chatter and a greater sense of calm and presence.
Consider spending 60 seconds on each of your five senses. Make a note or two regarding what you perceived:
Where in your life would going out of your mind and coming to your senses have the greater benefit?
“The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them.”
—Stephen King, American Author of horror, suspense, and science fiction
Image from Unsplash by Aaron Burden
Last August, my wife Wendy and I took an extraordinary vacation with two friends. We went to Africa, Ireland, and Iceland.
As I so often do, I took a journal to capture our daily adventures, but found that I had surprisingly little interest in detailing our many wonderful experiences through the written word.
When I did write something, it felt like a recounting or summary of the days, and had none of the emotions and deep feelings of awe we experienced. I did, however, find that taking pictures lived up to the “thousand words” motto – and we sure took a bunch!
Reflect on some of the most important things in your life and consider how you experience them beyond the limits of any words. Feel free to reply to this post with your best description of what you observe, even if it falls a bit short of the full experience.
“To read without reflecting is like eating without digesting.”
—Edmund Burke, 18th Century Irish Statesman
Image from Flickr by Sebastien Wiertz
Think back to your biology or life science classes in high school. How much do you recall about the central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, or in the case of today’s quote, the digestive system?
The journey a single bite of food takes from our mouth, into and through the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and colon takes somewhere between 18 and 24 hours.
What do you think would happen if the length of digestion time were cut in half, and food was processed in 9 to 12 hours instead? What percent of the vital nutrients would be available to nourish our bodies?
Consider speed reading, executive book summaries, the classic CliffNotes or Monarch notes – and even Twitter – as ways we short-cut the learning process. What valuable nuggets of wisdom are being missed or lost through the use of short-cuts?
Where specifically would greater reflection on the materials you are currently reading make the biggest difference?
Consider re-reading one of your most highly prized and valuable books from your past. Read it slowly, with the intent of digesting and teaching the most important lessons to a class composed of people you know would benefit the most.
Please let me know which book you would re-read, and what you discovered in the process.
“Remember, all the answers you need are inside of you; you only have to become quiet enough to hear them.”
—Debbie Ford, author of The Dark Side of the Light Chasers
Image from Pinterest
Take a moment to reflect on your day so far.
How much quietness, peace, serenity, and tranquility have you experienced? On the other hand, how much stress, chaos, multi-tasking, and general noise have you experienced?
If you have plenty of quiet time, you are one of the lucky ones who have time to think and reflect on the important questions life may be asking.
If your life fits more with the second category, you may be unable to hear yourself think.
Find a special location in both your personal and professional worlds to spend just ten minutes per day in quiet reflection, to discover the important answers to the questions life is asking.
FRIDAY REVIEW: REFLECTION
Do you give yourself adequate time for reflection? Here are a few reflection-related posts you may have missed. Click on the links to read the full messages:
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
“My sun sets to rise again.”
“Life always offers you a second chance. It’s called ‘tomorrow.’”
“Life is like photography. You use the negatives to develop.”
Image from mipg.com.au
Many people ignore, suppress, or try to run away from the negatives in life. If you, too, utilize this strategy, try being a bit more like a photographer.
Consider how the best at this craft capture the extraordinary pictures, the ones that “WOW” us. Examine their observatory and reflective skills, their understanding of light and shadow, and other aspects of photography that bring out the brilliance of each shot.
How can you more fully examine and reflect on the negatives in your world to develop and have an even more wonderful life?
“Be there for others, but never leave yourself behind.”
-Dodinsky, New York Times bestselling author
Some of the most frequent coaching assignments I engage in are focused on leadership development. The volume of resources on this subject is staggering, which points to the universal desire and need for this very important skill.
Much has been written in recent years about servant leadership, in which a high priority is placed on serving key stakeholders such as customers and of course, employees. Sometimes so much attention is placed on others that the leader can overlook or completely miss their own needs. Yet, they must attend to themselves if they are to serve others at the highest level.
In what way do you need to satisfy your own needs so that you can serve others in your personal and professionals lives?
“Don’t worry so much about knowing the right people. Just make yourself worth knowing.”
A number of years ago I read a book by Dr. Wayne Baker from the University of Michigan titled Achieving Success Through Social Capital. A key take-away from this well-researched book was that, without question, relationships are valuable.
We have all heard phrases such as, It’s not what you know, but who you know, that counts, pointing to the power of being connected to these centers of influence and super-connectors. One challenge with the advent of social media and the huge demands it puts on our time is that getting to know the “right people” can be difficult.
Today’s quote suggest that instead of the old push or pursuit strategy to meet these individuals, we instead work on ourselves to attract and pull people to us and the value they perceive we provide.
What one or two qualities or abilities could you more fully develop in yourself to make yourself an even more desirable person worth knowing?