I’ve been working for a few months now with this concept. The objective: get the benefits of immersion without the complexity of taking time off from work, home, family, elder cat care, etc.
Everyone knows: the quickest way to learn many things is via immersion. Living temporarily abroad to learn a language is immersion, college years are usually immersion, weekend seminars are immersion, yoga retreats are immersion. The idea is that by creating a shift in physical/ mental/ emotional/ social structures, one will be able to incite a stronger, deeper, and more lasting learning or growth experience. Or better yet, some permanent realizations.
All this is true.
What I’m curious about, though, are the tools and structures to inspire immersion-type shifts without actually going through with full immersion. Full immersion comes with the inconvenient requirements of travel and cat care and awayness from the other projects/people I love.
Another way to say this: how does one stimulate good habits within the pre-existing structures of one’s life?
The answers, of course are usually obvious. It’s the acting on the answers that is challenging.
The answer to stimulating good habits in the pre-existing structures of life? Fill your day with reinforcing content.
For instance- some good habits that I’ve been working on:
-mood management / contentment
-yoga more often
-making 5 hours a day available for creative work
-learning/ improving /practicing Arabic.
-writing more, publishing more
-building systems for our businesses (more on that one in a future post.)
I can come up with a sublist of 5 or 10 reinforcements to any of those good habits. Not reading the news, having yoga mats handy, waking up at 6 am, listening to more Arabic-speaking vloggers, structuring my creative time, making discrete weekly goals for our businesses….. and so on.
But I live in this constant internal dialectic between doing things “when they feel right, at the correct intuitive moment” and doing things because “I put them on my list of goals.” (Basically: does one find TRUTH through intuition or reason?)
In most instances of actual physical immersion, we have put ourselves in a place where we have little choice BUT to go along with the immersive experience. We usually do it because we can’t set up the immersive experience at home. We can’t figure out how to generate the desired shifts or learnings alone.
(oh, what, there are extroverts reading this? And you are telling me you like to leave home and go live with a bunch of strangers? Huh. I can’t imagine. ;)
So I’ve identified the habits that I’d like to build through immersion. I’ve identified the techniques that I can use to create a quasi-immersive experience. And now it’s just the doing.
I had this conversation with a friend the other day (in my intermediate level Arabic, hence the sort of choppy sound in translation):
“You know that internet meme about ‘how to find your passion?’ Well,” I said, “I just don’t know anyone who doesn’t know what they love to do. It’s such a strange idea.”
“Yes,” he agreed. “We surround ourselves with people who are like us, who have the same consciousness as us.”
“Right, of course,” I said. “But, you know? I often develop friendships with people who know what they love- and have a similar consciousness- but are lacking in willpower. Rather than act upon their passion, they while away the days in apparent inactivity.”
Or perhaps that’s too harsh? Maybe I ought to trust that everyone has their own process?
But, that line feels a little bit like a lie coming out of the keyboard. A little too passive for me to believe.
People do all have their own process, and willpower can manifest in different ways.
But I can affirm, from my own experience, activating will and action together create shifts in consciousness and awareness.