I have the honor of guest posting today for my friend Tsh Oxenreider’s blog, The Art of Simple. If you’re new to Tsh’s blog, check out her podcast and her book about trying to live simply yet intentionally: Notes from a Blue Bike. I’m offering an adapted preview from the introduction to Pray, Write, Grow: Cultivating Prayer and Writing Together ($.99 pre-order until tomorrow!):
You don’t have to be determined to avoid self-reflection these days.
Most of us carry app-filled smart phones in our pockets to provide constant stimulation and distraction. Binge-watching shows on Netflix, social media, and even books all offer a ready escape from being alone with ourselves. Podcasts were my favorite way to avoid self-reflection until I tried going without them for a single walk.
After watching my productivity and free time slump for months thanks to the two-hour walks our son required for a morning nap (believe me, we tried everything else), I had a break-through plan. I decided to ditch my beloved podcasts and use my walks to either think of fresh writing ideas or pray.
Mind you, I love podcasts. I hardly did anything without a podcast two years ago—when all of this took place. I believed I was on the brink of a productivity explosion. I set off on my walk and promptly drove myself crazy with worry.