My Daily Practice of Self-Discovery
For the last 35 weekdays I have been writing and publishing to my blog. Earlier today while writing an email to a dear friend I realized something. All of this writing and publishing has been helping me dig deeper into myself, discover new ideas, and rediscover old ones.
I am discovering many ideas that barely developed and through writing, I explore their depth. In the process, I am getting to know myself better. Ideas for new products and services are surfacing. Ways that I can deliver and live my mission.
Writing has been the key to all of this. However, what allows the writing to happen is space. Over the last several months, I have given myself permission to reclaim time and space for thinking and reflecting. Perhaps the greatest breakthrough in 2021 has been the power of space and silence.
When I go on my morning coffee walk and run, I turn off my audiobook or podcast for a part of that trip. While I was in Ireland, I would reserve that moment for when I sat by the seaside and watched the water glisten as the sun shined on it. Back home in New Jersey, I walk along the Hudson River, overlooking Manhattan and I enjoy that same glistening of the river water. Sometimes I turn off the audiobook while I’m walking, other time while I’m sitting.
After I wrote that email today, I enjoyed a discussion with a dear friend. He shared with me something Carl Jung wrote about – the spirit of the depths. My friend shared that the spirit of the depths can only be accessed when we create space and allow for silence. We discovered that my morning routines, by design, allow for that. As a result, I have been able to access deeper levels of myself and my ideas.
When I sit by the water in silence, I simply ask myself, “what do I want?” and then I wait. I don’t think, I simply listen. The first idea surfaces, followed by a second, third and then that’s when I know the floodgates are open. As I get to the 5th or 6th thoughts, that’s when things get interesting.
Between the space I create to allow ideas to surface and my daily practice of writing and publishing, I am developing the daily result or practice of self-discovery. The craziest part of all of this is that my best ideas and work don’t come from the science of productivity. Instead they come from the practices of silence and writing. It may not look very productive from the outside, but what’s happening inside of me has never been more productive.