Sometimes people admonish sensitive people to get a thick skin. However, what most don’t realize is that sensitive people can be keenly aware of their surroundings and can know things without understanding the source of that knowledge. Sensitive people know how to assess situations and to read subtle clues to know when reality is different than the words used to describe the situation.
Traditional ways to greet people are with the question, “How are you?” But, traditional ways also dictate that the only acceptable answer is, “Fine.” It is a ritual you have to begin to get to the heart of a conversation. However, rarely is a person just fine. Even if everything is going well, fine just doesn’t give any information. I will be so bold as to say that the beginning of most conversations is a tradition of lies. Sensitive people know that the fine answer is wrong, and they usually can sense what the real and more accurate adjective is.
The Learning Club would like to start a new tradition of greeting. Instead of asking how someone is, try greeting anyone – friend or stranger – with the question, “What are you reading?” W.A.Y.R. is the acronym and can be pronounced like WHERE. Unless your book is one word, a one word answer is just not going to suffice. If you are not reading anything, the shame of your repeated, “Nothing” answer may be just the incentive to get you reading. Your current book(s) answer will begin the conversation by spreading learning (instead of perpetuating a lie) and will hopefully help your enhance your conversation. It will get the conversation off to the right start.
This summer may be my best summer yet, one for my history’s books. One of the best God gifts of time that I’ve received this summer has been my own form of meditation. The volumes of material on the benefits of traditional meditation still have not helped me to meditate effectively. Similar to the traditional, “How are you?” greeting ritual, I have had to adapt traditional meditation methods to what works for me. This summer I found the value of being each day by reading. It started out as 15 minutes of reading in the morning, and now I’ve allowed myself the guilty pleasure of an hour. I never thought I’d even rise early to get my quiet time reading! I have found a magical formula of reading 3 books at one time. I begin with a daily lesson book, a book designed with one chapter of a few pages each day. I then read a chapter of a personal growth book. The end of the magic time is spent reading a fun book. A personal growth book,P, a daily book, D, and a fun book, F make up my own PDF. It is a fabulous way to start every morning because the rest of the day is spent digesting my new treasures of knowledge.
A man once told of a workshop he attended that began asking the participants to stand after being handed 3 tennis balls. The teacher asked the participants to then juggle. No one was successful. He thanked them and then began the workshop. After the 8 hours of instruction in the workshop, the teacher then handed out the 3 tennis balls again, and he asked them once again to juggle. Everyone could juggle. Did the participants look up how to juggle at lunch? No. Did they practice during breaks? No.
Those 8 hours of workshop training were just enough to give the brain time to figure out how to juggle. The brain needed downtime or alone time to work out the problem of juggling. Once the participants gave their brains enough time to be alone with the problem, the mystery training was completed. That is how it is when we’ve read something… anything. Our brains need time to digest the material and make it our own.
So, what are you reading?
(In case you are interested in my 3 current books, the P is The Gift of Imperfection by Brene Brown, the D is T.D. Jakes’ Destiny, and the F is The Tea Bird of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See.)