Can you remember what it feels like to not have a constant to do list running through the back of your mind?
Last summer, after taking two weeks off the grid in Colombia, I can recall re-entering my apartment post travel with a serene calm & clarity pervading my whole body, and mind. The things I had felt were utter chaos just weeks ago had faded away or clicked slowly into place and I was left with that glorious sensation that for at least the moment I could tackle anything life might present me.
I believe it is vital for anyone who wants to produce unique, valuable work for others to create time without the obligation to connect. We spend every other moment of our lives juggling commitments, messages, replies, posts, follow ups, and we start to believe we have to keep up ‘all the things’ to maintain life. Yet the truth is we don´t ... and the truth is the constant activity can actually fog over our sense of the bigger picture.
Letting go of it for some time gives us a break from balancing so much freakin’ stimulation. It empowers us to regain a clear view again and see our path forward in a way that feels possible.
It might feel odd, uncomfortable and even scary at first to surrender to the calm and stillness that’s left when the activity halts. We’ll have the twitch to just ‘check in’ … and our fingers just happen to open up our email app. But popping in to keep an eye on things re-ignites your ‘work mode’ and it brings back the to do list and all the obligations wrapped into that. The calm is effectively pierced.
I am choosing to go off the grid because that total immersion in calm, with all it’s intricacies and challenges, is what I’m aiming for. I’m sure I’ll stumble a bit along the way because I’ve realized to my chagrin I’m perfect. Yet I know that I know that at the other side of offline is a mind that comes home stronger, happier and more crisp - ready to tackle the question marks I´m wrestling with now.
If you’re feeling inspired to try this yourself - join me!
Find a day on a weekend to cancel plans, hold one totally open with nothing to do, or carve out 2 minutes to do nothing ... any amount of letting go is a healthy size.
Beginning this month, I am starting ‘Question for Self,’ a monthly note to share the resources inspiring me - from books, talks, articles, podcasts, daily engagement with the world - and I will pose them to you in the form of a question.
Why a question and not the answer? Well, because you are an intelligent person and you are far more equipped to understand what these concepts mean to your unique existence than I. In fact, the pursuit of your answer is where the real learning & wisdom comes :)
So the deal is - I will send this out once or twice a month.
Would you like to receive it? If so, Amazing! You can opt in to get it here:
Send me questions!
And now on to the some questions:
SO WHY AM I DOING THIS?
If you know me well, you have already figured out that I do a lot of “self-education.” Read: I am a full-on nerd when it comes to learning about personal awareness and how I can live more meaningfully with that knowledge. I am constantly reading, listening to podcasts, watching TED talks, reflecting, asking myself about the meaning of life .. and my own in particular.
Much of this quest is what has empowered me to discover a career - and a life - that truly feels worthwhile to me. So I’ve decided it’s time I did more than just keep a list of those resources in an Evernote. I’d like to share them with you. Moreover, I’d love to learn how they land into and impact your life so I can get a better grip on what these concepts mean to other humans and how best to use them in my coaching and teaching work.
WHAT IS THIS “NEWSLETTER” OF SORTS?
I am tentatively calling this effort “Question for Self.” It will be one grand experiment in developing the discipline to share words on a consistent basis. I’m not a natural writer, I far prefer speaking to people face to face, so this is a test for me to grow in a new area. I imagine I’ll learn A LOT as I go.
I will be doing a lot of testing in here. I want to find out what kind of content is most interesting to readers, how can this empower you the most, which format works most effectively, and what frequency is actually sustainable for me and you? There may be some shape shifting and changing course along the way so eye an eye out for that.
AND FINALLY: Please let me know what you think as we go. I'd love to hear your suggestions, your insights, your ideas .. an inspired gif. Any feedback you want to throw my way is welcomed and very much appreciated. I look forward to include you in my grand experiment and learn from you along the way.
Founder of Mind Into Matter and lover of coffee, color, and passport stamps.