I started an ambitious project this January. With the shiny glint of the New Year ahead, I jumped in with my first video for YouTube-I called it 52 Weeks of Contemplation. Each week I post a new video where I offer the fruit I’ve gathered from contemplating a particular word. In week one it was more an idea-Are you enough? Since then I’ve contemplated and shared my thoughts about Acceptance, Boundaries, Ease and Perfection. Maybe it’s because I’m a life coach, or maybe it’s because I’m a regular meditator, but I find each week there is something I’m mulling. Something that is showing up, bugging me. Basically, the theme for my week. Since I believe every day can be a good day to change and grow and get more satisfaction from my life, it only makes sense that I would take these themes and contemplate them. And if I’m doing it anyway, why not share it?
What is contemplation?
I describe it as the art of considering or chewing on an idea or word. My goal is to get to know my mind and its workings more intimately.
For Example: If I said to you- what does adventure mean to you? I expect you and I would agree on some words to describe it. We might agree on the feeling of the unknown or the idea of a fresh experience. But how we feel about adventure is likely to be different. I might say exciting or invigorating. You might say terrifying and risky.
Contemplation offers us a chance to dig deeper into what a word means to us and helps us recognize that we bring a perspective to bear. Sometimes, those perspectives help us in life and sometimes they get in the way. Usually, these perspectives fly under the radar. We treat them as truth and the way the world is. But through contemplation, we can step out of our story, and consider ideas and actions in more detail.
When you take time to contemplate this way, you start to make space in your daily life. This space helps you notice how your concepts help and hinder you. Once you notice that, you can start to make change.
Turn off the movie now
Contemplating requires you to keep a scientists distance from the subject matter. This isn’t ruminating. You know, when you run your
movie of that thing that happened and you play it over and over again to beat your self up. Don’t use contemplation to add to a negative
story about yourself-Why aren’t I better at adventure? Or to build yourself up into some false idea either-I’m the best adventurer ever! Contemplation isn’t about strengthening your story. It’s a chance to notice what you think, and that can lead to insights. Insights lead to change.
Wow, I had an insight!
If you have a flash of insight that reveals something of meaning to you, pay attention to it. Get curious about how this insight might help you behave differently in the future. Gratitude is great. You won’t always have an insight. Most important is to keep examining the word and see what else is there. Having one aha moment isn’t the end. Stay interested in the process and let all that you discover rattle around inside.
How does this make Change?
Whether or not you have an aha moment, you will be more aware of your patterns for the future and the next time this situation arises, or this word is in your way, you will have new ways to react and process it. That’s how change happens. First you have to become more aware. From awareness, maybe you will be able to choose a different action. I think of contemplation as very gentle movement to change. It’s a slow and kind way to move your world.
Want to get started? Subscribe to my YouTube Channel and give me 2-3 minutes of time a week to contemplate a new word. See how this slow but effective process can make change in your life.