Archive for March 29th, 2009

My “To Be” list

Posted on March 29, 2009. Filed under: Culture, HowTo, Musings, Philosophy, Spirituality |

This is a follow-up to a recent post, as I’ve continued to be, and to think about what I wrote there. The comments of lovely blog friends have touched and inspired me, also.

A lot of us have “To Do” lists, and they can be very helpful in organizing our activities and helping to remember everything we intend to do. I make such lists, when I remember to, πŸ˜‰ and they’re very helpful and serve me well.

But before the “To Do” lists, and even the “To Have” lists (or Wants, or Desires, or Goals; call them what you will), I have my “To Be” list, because that’s the most important list of all.

The quality of life I have, or even the number and kind of “things” I have; the amount of money I have in the bank, and the relationships I enjoy, are all generated from the “To Be” list, whether it’s on paper, or not. I mean this to be taken as literally true, not just metaphorically, or emotionally, or as one of my fanciful notions; of which there are many.

Here is my “To Be” list, for this week!

I want to be: joyful, at peace, helpful, attractive, prepared, flexible, spontaneous, ready, accomplished, studious, energetic, rested, strong, independent, creative and musical.

Obviously, I could think of a lot more words and phrases, but these will do for a week—don’t you think? I make a new list at the start of each week. (Well, no I don’t, actually, but I thought if I declared that I did here I might start, as I think it’s a really good idea!) πŸ˜‰

With those ideas, or qualities, as the core values for my week, I can allow everything else to follow. I have found that if I do that, the week seems to just unfold on its own; I don’t have to try and strive as I once did.

I can, consciously, compare choices I’m called upon to make with my list: “Will, for instance, taking on a new project for a client I don’t resonate with bring me joy, or peace, or strength? It might be seen as helpfulness—but at what cost? Is it worth sacrificing five values for the sake of one? Can I still embrace the one value (helpfulness) in another way?”

In most cases, though, I don’t have to make those kinds of decisions. If I keep my core weekly values in mind, the rest mostly just flows. I may have some leftover projects I’d committed to before I articulated these values, but that’s OK. I’m willing to fulfill those commitments, for a reasonable amount of time, and then let them go, along with the disharmonious feelings they may have engendered in me.

I had to laugh while I was composing my list—which I did, right here, right now; you’re seeing the first draft!—because when I typed a few terms, such as “musical”, my mind immediately began saying things like, “Well, if you’re going to be musical this week, you have to step-up practicing your scales, learning your choral music, and listen to a symphony!”

That’s the mind for you! πŸ™‚ I may do those things this week, but the whole point of the “To Be” list is NOT to “figure out what I gotta DO”, but to sit quietly, and breathe, and allow the musical-ness of my being (or whichever quality I’m looking at). That’s all!

AFTER that, I may just make a “To Do” list, if only to feel more organized and relaxed. (Oooh, I should go put “organized” and “relaxed” on my “To Be” list!) πŸ˜› My only caution—to myself, as well as anyone choosing to try this out—is to avoid having TOO many things on the list. How many is too many? I will know, and so will you. The thing I like about a weekly list is that it can change and evolve in a short period of time. I’m sure many things on this week’s list will also appear on next week’s. I’ll very likely think of some new ones, and let go of some no longer as important.

I’ve been to workshops meant to “discover my life’s purpose” during which I was asked to list my “goals and values”. This is all very well, but being the sort of person I am, those exercises stressed me out. That workshop list was going to be the MOST IMPORTANT LIST OF ALL TIME! I had BETTER NOT MISS ANYTHING! That sort of pressure, self-imposed though it was, left me feeling none of my lists were good enough. This way, I can always tweak the next week. Yay!

Thanks for reading my list-rant. I wish you good Be-ing this week! πŸ˜€

“I write to get my thoughts in order. Once they are, I’ll stop. I should be at this for a very long time…”

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