The Importance of Listening to Yourself

Today’s running theme is the importance of listening to yourself, and things adjacent to that notion. This includes trusting your own counsel, knowing what you want, and generally paying attention to what’s going on around you.


Over the weekend I cleaned up and locked down my Twitter account. I’m keeping it mainly to chat with some friends. The rest of the people I follow are Buddhists or Buddhist-adjacent. I’ve changed the name of my own account to reflect the Pali word for right speech, to help me remember to mind not only what I say, but what I read and listen to. This is how I plan to keep social media sane and workable for me.


Finns are generally quiet people. They’re comfortable with long pauses in conversation. Americans seem afraid to be alone with their own thoughts for more than a few minutes. This cultural quirk, I think, is why Americans continually stare at their phones, have earbuds in, and keep a TV or radio on for background noise. As I’ve gotten back to my own meditation practice, I’ve been appreciating the power of silence and stillness. Being entertained 24/7 is not the purpose of life.


When I completed my business degree in 2014, I had a business plan. My instructors and advisors loved it, and encouraged me to pursue it. Four years later, I’ve fallen into the trap of worrying about the day-to-day, chasing the rent, and not devoting any time or resources to the bigger picture. I’m working on changing that. Time to update the business plan and get back on the long-term track.


Yesterday I decided to try Gutenberg, the new WordPress editor. After 40 minutes of trying to format a post that should have taken 5 minutes tops, I gave up. It’s a complicated, convoluted mess and I don’t like it. When they force this on users with the next update, I’ll have to look for other solutions. I got so frustrated that I just deleted the post. If blogging becomes that much of a chore, I will take it as a sign to move in. It will challenge me to express myself through my other writing.


Since I’ve migrated to using a bullet journal for everything, my Kanban board is sitting lonely and unused. I’ve decided to turn it into a vision board. No, I don’t buy into any sort of magical thinking, law of attraction nonsense. I do think that it helps to remember what your big, hairy, audacious goals are, though. It’s a way to keep yourself motivated. Because I don’t have magazines to cut up, or a printer to manifest images grabbed from the internet, I’m going to write things on index cards.


I think I’ve reached a point where I’m comfortable vanishing offline for long stretches of time. There are too many other things that I want to get done, including having peaceful downtime. I’ll be popping up when I have a new release, personal news I’m willing to share with the world, or something worthwhile to say.