Today, I've got a few practices to share with you. Typically, practices are given within the context of a coaching conversation; based on the nature of my discussion with a client, I come up with three to five mini assignments aimed at helping her or him incorporate some new skill. Ideally, practices are fun and expansive and wildly thought-provoking. Herewith are three practices for experimenting with curiosity.
1. Create a fun challenge. This week, mine is to reach out to 50 people I haven't spoken to in a long time, simply to find out how they are and what's new in their lives. (I'm curious for the answers, but I'm also curious for what additional questions I'll have after their initial response.) I'm compiling a list in my notebook of folks from my past (no one's off-limits, except, maybe, for ex-boyfriends, ha), and I've started emailing them one by one to impart a long overdue hello. A personal network is a fine thing to explore, indeed. Facebook would work for this, but I don't keep an active account, so email is my medium. Want some accountability in completing a comparable challenge this week? Hit 'reply,' let me know the details of your self-imposed assignment, and I'll check in with you on Friday to see how you did.
2. Play with your picture frame. In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott inspired me to play around with the scope of my focus. She writes: "I go back to trying to breathe, slowly and calmly, and I finally notice the one-inch picture frame that I put on my desk to remind me of short assignments. It reminds me that all I have to do is to write down as much as I can see through one-inch picture frame." Applied to your writing or your evening walk or your cross-country move, a one-inch picture frame becomes a tool for shrinking your perspective and, simultaneously, growing your awareness. This week, I plan to seek out the tiny details. Want to join me? Let's use #oneinchpictureframe on Instagram to share our smallest findings.
3. Write more lists. They're an amusing and easy way to collect your thoughts, especially the ones that have proven difficult to wrangle. Also, they force you to think broader instead of harder. Topics I might explore in my notebook this week? Things I Wasn't Expecting to Love, Adventures I Didn't Know Were Adventures Until Afterward, Places I'd Like to Call Home, and Details I Would Have Missed Had Everything Gone As Planned. I draw huge inspiration from Mollie Greene—writer, paper artist, master list-maker. Also, Andrea Jenkins. Want to try your hand at composing uncommon lists? Hit 'reply,' tell me you're game, and I'll provide you with a list topic (or three) for exploring ideas you hadn't previously considered.
Notes from the week of January 24
+ the app, MindNode, for indulging in a little mind-mapping (I'm a pen and paper gal, but I'm solidly intrigued by the idea of brainstorming, using an electronic medium)
+ surprisingly good diner coffee
+ the ebb & flow of Sunday foot traffic in a café
+ the texture of a jackfruit against the palm of my hand
MEALS EATEN, DRINKS DRUNK
+ ginger bok choy soup with noodles
+ African curry with cauliflower
+ turmeric rice with coconut kale (ran into rice issues that made this...not so good)
+ Bota Box RedVolution red wine
+ latte with a hint of toffee nut syrup
+ chocolate hazelnut biscotti
READ & NODDED MY HEAD
+ "Late Bloomers: Why do we equate genius with precocity?" (via my mom)
+ Neil deGrasse Tyson's thoughts on Interstellar
LOCAL COLOR EXPERIENCED
+ diner waitress who told us knock-knock jokes