To discern is to distinguish, or to separte - basically, to figure something out. In the Christian sense, we often use it to descibe trying to figure out where God is calling you.
St. Ignatius' "Examine" is a primary technique to figuring it all out. The idea is to look at where you've been, figure out where you are now, and decide where you want to go. By examing one's life, you start to see patters - things that give you joy or anxiety, times you felt enlivened or put down. With those patterns we can better understand ourselves, and better understand where God wants us to be. For I believe that God wants us to feel love and joy. We also understand what we need to work on within ourselves, what we can do so we don't have the anxiety.
Organizations can also do this. Asking a group of people what they're thankful for, what comes easily, and where they see problems can tell them where energy needs to go.
Where have I been - Where am I now - Where do I want to go?
Examination of God's presence and noticing your thoughts
1. Look back over the day and ask "where did I experience God's presence?" (perhaps it was the sunrise, a choice to respond in love, etc.) Give thanks to God
2. Look back again to find when you did not experience God's presence (perhaps it was when you offered a cross word, a judgmental thought toward yourself, etc.) Ask for forgiveness from God
3. Look ahead to tomorrow. Is there something in your day that leave you anxious, agitated, worried, or concerned? (perhaps it's when you think about a test you need to take or a conversation you want to have) Ask for the Holy Spirit to be within that situation and within you as you face it.