My old mentor Mike Ferry used to talk about taking consistent thinking time, to pause and see what ideas might arise. I always like the sound of this idea, but it wasn’t until I joined the John Maxwell Team and heard John talk about his “Thinking Chair”– a beautiful orange chair where he sat everyday with a yellow pad of paper to think, plan, create, brain dump that this idea really began to crystallize for me. I got to visit his home and see the chair, too. I soon got my own orange chair and have spent countless hours in it, just thinking.
Stillness, quiet, thinking time is so valuable. In order to live our most creative, expansive, fullest lives we must make time for it.
My formula for this is:
-Everyday 1/2 hour, three pages, writing Morning Pages. (Google this if it is new to you.)
-Once a week on Saturday (it was Sunday for the longest time, and still is if Saturday is full), take at least an hour to reflect on the past week, and plan the week ahead.
-Every month I plan by reviewing the previous month, looking at my goals for the year, assessing progress and importance and plan for the month to come. For this I take most of a day and try to create a fun field trip destination to do this. Somewhere I can drive to.
-Every quarter I take 1-3 days to really hunker in and do some creating for the quarters ahead.
-Mid year I am now taking a sabbatical of sort to take even more time to first decompress and then do a lot of thinking, learning, writing, planning and creating for the second half of the year.
I think about my whole life, not just my business. This brings intentionality to my life.
I am sharing this again because people ask me, and I want to give you an idea of what is possible. You can create whatever works for the season of life you are in. My abilities to take time like this has changed a lot over the years. So if where you are at is an hour at a coffee shop once a week and make two hours once a month, start there. Get out of your usual environment. You can even drop into a co-working space to work and think in the energy of others who are doing the same. Experiment and see what works best for you, Make it fun.
Don’t worry if you sit with a blank notepad for a while. Just sit and let yourself be. As you sit, space will open up, thoughts will come and your pen will start moving.
You can even start with a question at the top of your page like-
“What is my biggest goal right now?” Followed by “Who do I have to become in order to be the person who reaches that goal?”
“What would I like to think about today?”
When I write Morning Pages I keep my pen moving- even if I keep writing- “I don’t know what to write” over and over again. When you keep your pen moving something eventually shifts and the gates open.
Being able to sit and be still and allow space to think is a real skill to develop. Some of us naturally love it, some will feel very uncomfortable and anywhere in between. Practice. Breathe. If you stick with it there will be great clarity and reward for you.
If this is new to you- this week get on the Insight Timer meditation app and look for a 5 minute guided meditation that interests you. Start there. Listen to it and then write down your thoughts about what you just heard and experienced immediately following. This is how you start. Be consistent and build your length of time. This is a practice for life, not just for a minute.
Stillness in silence is something to practice, stillness with noise around you is also a good thing.
What I want you to be able to get to are all those ideas, knowings, ideas, everything that is in your brain that you can’t tap into while doing your day. We can miss so much. So give your brain a chance to be heard! It might be a struggle or challenge, especially at first, maybe forever. That is perfect!