I’ve attempted many times to establish a morning Recording and Listening practice. The process has looked similar to other practice commitments I’ve made over the years. I make a commitment to Record and Listen every morning at a specific time. I dutifully rise and Record and Listen for a period of time. Then, the commitment slowly slips from its seat in the forefront of the attention and ultimately lands flat on the ground with an inaudible thump.
Sometime later, I wake up, recommit, and start the process again.
Recently I became curious about how I show up in this particular process and I clearly saw what stopped me from keeping a regular morning Recording and Listening practice: a belief.
I held a belief that I could create the “right recording.” That somewhere lies just the right thing to hear upon waking, words that could hold my attention day after day. I would make a recording, listen to it, and expect it to resonate in the same way the very next day. Often it did not. I would listen to it dutifully and then over time it slipped into oblivion and the practice faded away.
It was time to let go of that belief.
One day as I was reading a new book, I noticed how much I loved the book and could not wait to pick it up every evening. I would even sneak in little bits of reading during the day. Then, it dropped in: record the inspiring passages so that I could listen to them daily. What I found is that listening to the recording is like listening to a fun, lit-up, encouraging conversation perfectly suited to me.
In this one little step I tapped into Authenticity and a process of joy around the morning recording. Each morning that I listened, I was inspired to add to the recording or make a new recording, and the same general theme was always present: “I love you exactly as you are and I will help you be exactly who you want to be.”
After a few weeks engaged in this practice, I found myself waking up wanting to slip on my walking shoes so that I could head out and listen to the things that make me smile, that encourage me to face the day, and inspire me to create new recordings. By letting go of the standards— the belief that the recordings should be a particular way— I touched the Authenticity within and found myself waking up with a conscious desire to check-in with Authenticity instead of the rattling voices in the head.
By tapping into my enthusiasm for reading, I built a bridge to a solid morning Recording and Listening practice. We know intellectually that tuning to Authenticity isn’t something to check-off the “to-do list.” Yet, I approached a morning Recording and Listening practice like I approached a 5AM morning work-out, as something I had to do to get a desired result — in this case, freedom. Yet, it wasn’t the content of the recording that shifted the practice from a “to-do” into a “can’t wait to-do,” it was the attitude of mind — the willingness to explore another possibility.
I discovered that by recording language that resonates with the heart and listening to it frequently, the “need” for a morning practice has fallen away and a daily practice has been born.
Next time you are reading an inspiring book, highlight the passages that resonate with your heart. Then, pick up the recorder and make a recording of the Authenticity that inspires you.