There are two tasks in the house I hate – getting the mail and changing the toilet paper roll. They can’t go undone. I’m not happy about it, but I do them as needed. Begrudgingly I went to the mailbox yesterday and it was jammed full of junk mail and two magazines. I threw the whole stack on the kitchen table and was sorting the pile when I had a moment: these are MAY magazines. I haven’t finished the March editions yet and here was May.
I plunked them on the magazine pile (yup there was April – unread) and considered how quickly 2018 was going. MAY!!!
I think I’m arriving at May in a blur because my personal habits are numbing me to my day. Maybe you find this happens too? It’s not that I don’t experience each day. I do. Probably more now than ever before. Reflecting each evening in my Gratitude Journal in Maple is a great tool for that, because I’m forced to take stock of the entire day.
It’s more a case of being Sorta Present. Not fully mindful but not on autopilot.
My days have a pattern, I’m sure yours does too. Morning rituals, coffee, news, email. Daily obligations, meetings, calls, tasks. Evening activities, dinner, TV, planning for tomorrow. The exact bits and pieces change but essentially that is how the day goes. And then the days go. And the weeks. And now with May looming, the months.
Breaking the pattern is not entirely feasible, because routines help us get things done. They give us useful structure and direction when we need it. Living entirely within the pattern isn’t ideal either because that is how you arrive at October having missed the entire summer (let’s not do that again). My question is how to embrace the beneficial parts of a routine and still make the days meaningful. I’m not entirely sure but here is what I am going to try: a few minutes each day for deeper thought.
What exactly is deeper thought? Well that’s the thing about Thoughts, they can be anything from random observations to life changing insights. Here is what I am thinking about Thinking to start:
- appreciating my environment and situations – to get inspired by nature or even a great meal
- trying to understand someone else’s point of view, living in their perspective for a few minutes – to help with discussions or negotiation or working together
- returning to ideas or insights that were “too big” to deal with earlier – to explore, challenge and grow my Self
- thinking bigger picture about my decisions – to invite more thorough consideration of how my choices impact me, people in my orbit and my overall circumstances
- embracing new ideas or behaviors – to consider things I would normally dismiss and maybe invite some evolution of my opinions and practices
I’m not going to define a list to think about, I’m going to see how each day develops and look for those moments where being a bit more thoughtful could make a difference.
There’s been a flurry of articles suggesting we are too willing to accept shared information verses critically processing it. Sharing (on social media) has become more second nature than deliberation. I have seen the need for intentional thought for a long time, its part of the reason we wanted to offer Maple to people. To provide a space that encourages and enables those moments needed for intentional thought.
Let’s re-engage our brains and see what impact it has on the speed and quality of our lives. I’m calling it the Thinking Every Day in May Challenge. Be bold, break from the norm, and join me as we contemplate all sorts of things in our lives.
Why not share this post with some friends and start a group for the Thinking Every Day in May Challenge? @O_Magazine has some great questions to get you started.
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