I take in a lot, and wasn’t all that surprised when Strengths Finder indicated that Input is one of my foremost strengths.

I listen. To podcasts. To people around me. To documentaries, wise friends, to nature. To myself, the inner voice.

I read. Books. Fiction as well as non-fiction. Blogs. Articles. Snippets on social media.

I watch. Myself. Those around me. Society at large. TED Talks. Inspirational movies, shows, clips.

I’ve always done this.

readBut there’s been a shift, these past three-four years. I used to bounce good things, that is, I’d get it, read it, listen to it, watch it, and immediately send it back out into the world. As is. And I grew dissatisfied with that habit of bouncing. I wanted to sit with stuff more, reflect, put my own twist to it. Send it back out into the world, yes, but with the addition of my own words to it. With my images. Adding a layer, a tone, adding me. Explaining why I felt this was important, inspiring, innovative.

And in doing that – mostly through my daily blogging – the level of my intake has shifted. Possibly I take in less, in numbers. But I definitely take in more, in depth. I go deeper. That which calls out to me, I often read, more than once. I often listen to, or watch, more than once. I want to get deeper, find the nuances. And every iteration means I hear, or see, or notice, something new. I experience more.

This has made life richer. Less black-and-white, less either-or. More flavors. More colors.

It’s as if I am a consumer. And a producer. At the same time. I used to consume. Period. And when I started to produce (for me, blog posts, mainly, but also the work I put into the coaching I do, and the non-profits I am involved in) I realized that consumption is simply part of the deal. It’s one side of the coin, and both are needed for the coin to have any real value.

So. Listen. Read. Watch. And then – make something of it. If only for yourself, within yourself, making it come alive within you. Nothing more is needed. If you want to put it out into the world. Do. If you don’t. Don’t. But regardless, be open to, reflect and learn from that which you hear, read, watch.

Welcome to my humble abode, where the underlying tone centers around being gentle to oneself. On Sundays I share thoughts on how I do gentle, and I hope you enjoy it. If you do, please subscribe to updates so you won’t miss out on future posts in this series.