My clients are often wondering—what answers do I have for them. I get it. We see someone farther down a path than ourselves and we want to know how they got there. It’s something we are all seduced by.
I used to carry a backpack around with me with 5-6 books. I did this for years. They were all great books helping me with my spiritual journey or how to be a better leader. I wanted to figure it out. I wanted to have the answers to what would make me the best version of me that I could be. As soon as I came to the place where I thought I had something figured out, I used the books to help others learn—that’s why I carried them around—so I could share the passages with others.
One of my friends suggested that maybe my attachment to the answers was an addiction of some sort and maybe I should try to go a few weeks without reading anything.
I was terrified of the idea. I couldn’t imagine going anywhere without my backpack and certainly not willingly.
That’s when I knew that my friend was right. I needed to stop and see the impact.
So I did. I took a summer off. No books. No listening to talks or messages on how to live properly or be an amazing leader.
When we want to live differently or change things about ourselves, gathering information, talking to friends, and generally DOING things have their place. They build the muscles of knowledge and community. These are called practices of ENGAGEMENT.
Far more difficult and counter-cultural are practices of DISENGAGEMENT. Some of these are rest, solitude, silence, meditation, and fasting. These practices build muscles of trust, peace, and love—especially self-love.
My practice of disengagement was a book fast and it was hard but I learned some things about myself.
- I’m more than the information that I know.
- My friends want to be with me even if I don’t have an amazing insight to share.
- I have a lot more to learn about what's inside me than I can imagine.
What about you? What practices of disengagement are you using? I challenge you to take a nap in the middle of your day, or spend an afternoon alone, or practice not speaking for a full day. See what happens. Let me know.
Practice makes people. Who are you practicing to become? Read More »