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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18 Responses to “My “To Be” list”

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‘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.’

Learning to discard trivial matters and prioritize is really energy saving.
I just posted my ‘Important Questions’ which is very related to this. I’ll include the last question:

‘Who are you not being that you really want to be?’

Really makes you think, doesn’t it?

That is a good list to make. After all, WE decide what we will be. πŸ™‚ I will try my hand at it.

i love lists! i’m rather forgetful and easily distracted, so keeping to-do lists keeps me focused. i also love checking things off my list, it makes me feel more accomplished. πŸ˜€

a to be list, though, that’s something new to me… i always wanted to be this or that, but most of the time i end up not being this or that because i forget. πŸ˜† maybe that’s what i should do – a to be list… but i think sometimes i am what i wanted to be! until i forget, that is. πŸ˜€

Very nice “To Be” list for this week! Lots of nice things ‘to be’ in there!

I’ve tried one of those ‘life’s purpose’ tests online before. I can’t remember exactly how it went, but perhaps it wasn’t the best of one, because I was still left no knowing πŸ˜†

It’s going to be neat to see how your list evolves each week, assuming that you post them of course πŸ˜‰ Take care!

Oh, I very VERY much love this! all kinds of awesomeness to this post.

This is brilliant! A “To Be” list. What a question to ask yourself each week – what you want to be! I can see the wisdom of devising a new list each week. I think I might give this a try.

I wish I could be more orderly and make lists to everything I do…unfortunately it will be a while before I am that organised!! For now, I am glad I can at least keep track of somethings! πŸ™‚
This Be-ing list of yours is pretty apt to each and everyone at some point or the other. For now, at this point in life my list has only one thing To be: at peace!

Oh, Muse! What a wonderful spin on a to-do list. Gosh, I love the way you think! And how you can choose what you will do by seeing how it fits into to your ‘to be’ list. Some of the things you come up with just make me sit back and say wow.

Another thing that everyone can try and it is simple to do. Small steps on the way to change.
I am still tweaking, (taken from another post you wrote) and have managed to make small changes. Like adding good news and good things at my site. Reading more, organizing around the house and picking up my beads again. I took apart the chandelier and have been re-doing it. (swags instead of hanging straight down)
All these things have made me feel better.

It kind of fits into a ‘to be’ list because every change I have made was more a matter of it being done because it made me feel better (more in harmony and balance, less stressed) with life than doing it because it has to be. done.

Thanks for another great post.

It does make me think, poch, and I read your post. Amazingly coincidental—or is it? πŸ˜‰

Yes, we are the deciders, Poonam. I’m honored you will try this, and I’m curious how it goes for you. πŸ™‚

I’m good at making lists, sulz, but then half the time I forget to look at them. I need to put a sticker on my forehead with “look at your list” written backwards, so I’ll see it in the mirror! πŸ˜› I think we all have “to be” lists in our heads, but sometimes it does help to write them down, because it reminds us we really can change the nature of our being if we want to. πŸ™‚

Thank you, Shane! Well, see! You proved my point exactly. I’ve never been good at trying to capture a purpose for my entire life once and for all! Hmmm, hadn’t thought of posting all my lists—maybe I’ll make a page for them. Thanks for being interested! πŸ˜€

Thank you, care! I’m very, very pleased! πŸ™‚

Wow, “brilliant”? Thank you very much, B0bby! I’m thrilled you might try it. “Being” really is the foundation upon which all else is based. Please tell me if you make a list. (You don’t have to tell me what’s on it.) πŸ˜‰

I think you have chosen the most important item on the list, Apar. If you are at peace, everything else is just fine, too. It’s helpful to make lists, but not necessary, and you might have an even better way to order your days!

You are so kind to compliment me that way, BD! πŸ˜€ We often can choose many, many things in our day: “Does this support my value of being peaceful?” It also brings the focus back to oneself, because I believe that if we’re doing things because we “should” according to someone else, it really doesn’t benefit us—or even the other person, ultimately. πŸ™‚ I have noticed the change in tone in your posts! I am SO pleased you are taking care of yourself this way, because you have so much to share and teach! As for the other things you mentioned; your creative outlets are not just fun, or a distraction—they’re necessary for balance. (In my opinion; forgive me if I’ve overstepped my bounds.) πŸ˜€ Looking forward to seeing a photo of the re-vamped chandelier!

Lordy, I’m exhausted just reading the goals for one week. Great concept but I wonder about the interconnectedness, ie: what’s the deal breaker, if any, for “at peace”? If “rested” doesn’t happen, does it impact the others?

Can you tell I’m an insomniac? πŸ™‚

ohhhh-i love this! so hard to stay n the Being moment isn’t it? My goal is to shed this summer—weight, baggage, stuff. Get back to nature…and breathe

This is certainly interesting – as one could argue that, because of the law of inertia, one would have to DO before it could “be”, when we assume that “being” is a changed state. Thus, you’ll have to “do” in order to “be”, so you’d need a “to do” list in order to accompany your “to be” list, haha. (Though, in his economics magnum opus Human Action, Ludwig von Mises argued that inaction is still action, so we run into an interesting paradox here…)

One phrase, nay, one word struck me in your post, as it was used in this sentence:

If I keep my core weekly values in mind, the rest mostly just flows.

Flow, you say? Read the books that this guy wrote on flow. I think you’ll find it incredibly enlightening.

does doing come before being? it’s like a pulsating rhythm…off on off on be do be do…..we can’t always stay in any one thing as humans. the paradox of man. would you say the tree is doing when it grows? the tree takes no thought in growing—“i must now grow”…maybe the doing is in our perception and they really are one in the same.

…and the doing we think of comes from our language of perception as thinking, perceiving human beings……how we see it—planned or in action—or we talk about it after the fact. interesting subject.

I’ve already made a list…

I want to be a billionaire – is that too much to ask? πŸ™‚

Very good question,ella. For myself, I don’t really look at these things as goals, just a laundry list of ways I’d like to be. I don’t actually DO anything about them at all! I hadn’t given any thought to the interconnectivity of the items! Wow! You got me thinking about it so much I wrote a whole other post! Thanks. πŸ™‚

Thank you, seeing! πŸ™‚ It really is hard to stay there. But maybe we don’t even need to…just think about the being-states from time to time. Ah, your desires sound heavenly! πŸ˜€

Hmm, interesting, leap. I’m not sure I’m going to argue that “being” is a changed state, although I understand your questioning my stance as I’ve said my lists will change from week to week. It’s more an allowing state, if possible. πŸ˜‰ Oh, yeah! The Flow-state guy. I’d forgotten about him, so thanks for the reminder. He’s cool. For me, at least in this context, “letting it flow” is just the opposite of “trying hard”. πŸ˜€

I’m seeing more seeing! πŸ˜€ Thanks for coming back!!! I surely don’t know the answer to your question about which comes first. I guess it depends upon where you think consciousness “comes from” in the first place. Love your tree example—indeed! And re your next comment, I heartily agree. No one but physical humans would even be discussing this; they’d just be! πŸ˜›

Thank you for telling me, B0bby! I will be very interested in how you do with the experience! πŸ˜€

Yes, indeed it is, Will, you rascal! πŸ™‚ Not that I don’t wish your billions for you, if that’s what you’d like—you deserve it! It’s just that, for the purposes of this exercise, you’re meant to focus on qualities, so you don’t get to use qualifiers like “a this” or “the that”. I realize I didn’t make that clear in the post, so I do thank you for bringing it up, even though I know you’re being cheeky! πŸ˜› I’ll add the explanation to the draft of the instruction manual; hehe. [Oh, it’s so wonderful to be asked to make up the rules!] πŸ˜€


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