This post, I made near two years ago, has been coming up for me again and I wanted to expand a little on it. Here is the original post.
I was blessed this past weekend to be steeped in meaningful conversation. One conversation in particular left me thinking, wondering and BLOGGING.
The gist of the conversation, was about life, what we are striving for and desiring toward. The idea or thought of, “but I haven’t done much,” came up. In the moment I had little to say. However, as is often the case, upon reflection, I had plenty to say. The world around me is often measured, summed up on this idea of what people have done. Folks have to do lists, bucket lists and accomplished lists. The large majority of these lists include activities, achievements, adventures. I buy in to this and as a result spend moments feeling like, “I sure haven’t done much lately, best get back to that list and get going.”
To jump to a parallel though, my father died at 62, rather suddenly and in most opinions too early. This experience has truly left me to ponder this thing called life and how I go about living it. When I watch my father’s memory slip in to the past, the only truly tangible thing left behind is the love he shared with others. This leaves me to wonder, and often suspect, that the only thing that truly lives on beyond our physical existence are the moments we spend loving.
With this thought, I examine my life’s inventory to include such items as holding the hand of a dying man, catching a new born child, loving with out conditions, embracing a weeping woman, smiling at a stranger and then perhaps I will have more freedom to be present to that which is alive in each moment that presents itself to me.
The more I reflect on the idea of doing and being the deeper I delve in to what truly runs me day to day and how that trickles down in to the lives of my children. In general I am a recovering perfectionists who’s sense of accomplishment is rolled up in the things I get done from day to day. I often wake and pretend I am setting my intention for the day when in reality I am listing things I would like to get done in a day. The idea being that first I will rush through the things I “need” to get done and then I will have time to relax in to the day and do the things I really want to do. The truth of the matter is, those “need” to do things never are really finished and they rarely fill you up with love and hugs and the end of a particularly challenging day.
My boys don’t wake with an agenda. And in all honestly if I pester them with questions such as “what do you want to do today,” I am always met with shrugs and “I don’t knows.” Why? Probably cause they are way more inclined to follow the day moment by moment immersed in those things that excite and interest them.
When I witness these two different ways of approaching a day I can’t help but notice my boys are way more versed at “being” and I am still stuck in the “doing” of the world. So I figure it is time to once again take their lead and flip the switch.
My way of supporting myself as I traverse the bridge of old patterns in to new, is to change the wording ever so slightly to more clearly reflect my attention. When I think of creating a “to do” list in my mind upon waking a very quickly switch it to a “to be list.” A simple word change that is helping me to become more aware of how I am being in the world. And you know what completing at “to be list” can indeed fill you love and hugs at the end of the day.
Here is a look at my “to be list” for the day
– be gentle with myself
– be present
– be loving and attentive