To-do lists are good because brains forget stuff--plans, ideas, brilliant dawnings of insight, a curiosity to be followed up later, a color that must come into your life because it made your heart sing that one day--that sort of thing.
But assigning a 'sell-by' date to such a list is madness. Sure, we have goals, but we end up doing so much less and so much more unhappily when we work against some self-imposed deadline.
Instead, ride the horse that came to the gate that morning--that's where the energy is, the drive. Whatever project is right for you today, that's it. Maybe that's the only thing, maybe not. But who are you to decide that? Don't we do enough already?
It will all get done.
It will all get done.
Now let's just have energy at the end to enjoy it.
Sometimes I want to sink to my knees because I cannot shoulder the weight of longing for one more step. You know? You know. So I do. Sink to my knees, I mean. I figure if my body is crying out that demandingly, then it's for a good reason. The good reason most times? I've let my brain steal the key to the mental projection booth and, sadistic bastard that he is, he's begun those propaganda-style newsreels playing.
You know the ones: this is your future! Debt! Regret! Useless degrees! A Mussolini-esque America! You will die alone! You will work a job that's killing you forever! (Worse than dying alone, quite frankly). But my god, petals. This would pull anyone to their knees.
We've all got a reel like this somewhere, don't we?
Anyway. So the point is this: this is self-manufactured propaganda, and we all know the point of that quote-unquote information service--to instill fear and to control. I don't know why our brains turn on us, but they do. I like to think it's a big test for our...
One of my favorite mantras to repeat in my classes is this:
You are enough; you are more than enough.
It covers everything; the bonus, of course, is that everything about that statement is the absolute truth. Because we *are* enough. We are brewed in a cosmic, chemical, creative soup that has prepared us for the lives we are leading. We have good ideas; we have good instincts.
We only have to realize the truth of that statement, and we'll be just fine.
I believe in magic; I hope for magic. I just can't seem to muster up faith in magic. But I keep thinking, if I clap my hands, get into the woods and bang my drums, wave my chimes loudly enough and with all the cheer and joy I can muster (throwing in a few never-to-be-seen dance steps), then I can't go wrong.
Can we invent joy*, invent magic, simply by being willfully joyful? I think we can.
Well. Either way, I'll keep collecting pretty stones, bells that remind me of a time at sea I've never seen, and drums that resonate and salt my blood with the sand of deserts I'll never visit.
Magic is welcome here.
*Note--joy is different than happiness or gratitude. The latter two can, I think, be forced or faked. The former is nothing but a spontaneous eruption of a hodgepodge of blissy happiness we're lucky enough to experience from time to time.
I'm going to share something from a book I cannot say enough about, so I won't.
But I will say this: in the moments you are happy, just tell yourself that. Don't clutch them, just acknowledge. Don't try to recreate, just be.
We Took To the Woods, Louise Dickinson Rich:
"It amounts to this. 'Is it worth-while to live like this?' is a question that I never ask myself under fair conditions. I ask it only when exasperation or discomfort or exhaustion pre-determine No as an answer. That's about ten times a year. On the other three hundred and fifty-five days of the year, I don't question anything. Happy people aren't given to soul searching, I find. Revolt and reform, whether private or general, are always bred in misery and discontent" (p. 320).
First of all, it's just good sense always to carry a compass. (A real one, I mean; yes, your inner compass is vital, too).
Second, that compass isn't going to do you any good unless you trust it.
If you've ever gone deep woods hiking, then you know how much your life depends on this advice. For some reason, as soon as we get lost, our *inner* compass is very much convinced that the little metal tool in our hands is absolutely wrong--that there must be some kind of rogue mineral deposit on this VERY SPOT to make it go so haywire.
Follow the inner compass in spite of the real one, and you'll be lost for a very long time. But if you keep setting and heading toward landmarks by the real compass (the earth-pole-guided/non-subjective one), you'll feel off, but you'll get on course. It's disorienting and a test of faith. But I'll tell you this--you'll never doubt again.
So, no. You don't need the whole picture. You don't even need a map of the part of the picture you've got...