I wonder if there is any time for real self-reflection today? Is it possible to carve out sacred time to ponder and wonder, and ask important questions of ourselves? It is a question that I have been living with of late, as I have two new clients – both in the therapy world. One is wondering about a need for more creativity in his life and one whose plate is quite full as a physician and she is being groomed for advancement as a medical director? I asked them both to do some self-reflection with homework; self-reflection is a necessary ingredient for leadership and creativity as both, despite what might be illustrated today. They both are born from the inside out.
To come totally clean, it is needful that one sit in silence and free up space to listen. Extremely hard to do when we are living with the pings, chimes and buzz of technology in our ears at all times.
I recently heard an interview with Itzak Perlman on what it was like to consult and work with John Williams on the score for Schindler’s List. He emphasized it is not what is written in the musical score, but what is notthat makes it profound. It is the rests, the empty spaces, the silence, either with film action or alone, which makes the movie so poignant and profound.
Of course. I know this. As a musician, this is crucial, but as Perlman described it, and I listened again to pieces from the soundtrack, it was illustrated so beautifully. Itzak Perlman lost much of his extended family in Poland during the Holocaust. Along with his playing, which is so full of emotion and beauty, one can understand the silence, the empty phrases as giving great significance to the suffering and memory of that historical episode.
But really, what is it about the pause that is so important today? We live in a culture of 24/7 surround sound of talk, rap, music, anger, busyness, microwave instant relationships, food, communication…..are there any rests in your life? Are you one of those who uses busyness to fill the spaces we often resist as uncomfortable? What will the pause tell you? And what would an organization uncover if the pause button were pushed? Perhaps one would have more momentum and uncover reserve not known before.