4 Mar

IMG_3145    A few weeks ago I read about a man who decided to identify several essential ideas that he would turn into practices everyday.  Each day, perhaps in the evening, he would reflect on these items and ask himself “was I aware of them during the day?” and “did I address each one in some practical way?”  He held himself accountable.

Sounded like a good idea, so I thought about my own list, coming to rest on the number 5.  I chose five emphases that are particularly important to me at this moment in my life, and, with a measure of humility and the assumption that you might be interested, I share them with you.  Each day, I promised myself, I will remember these five things and I will make every attempt to move them from ideas in my mind to actions in my experience.  Then, just before turning out the bedside lamp at night, I will ask myself “did you really do them?”

Be Kind – Kindness is such a simple thing.  It comes through as a smile, paying attention to someone, listening, simply acknowledging another person as valuable and important.  Being kind can be done in a quick moment or over a cup of coffee with a friend.  At least once in my day, I want to be kind.

Do Good – Turn the kindness into a specific act.  Opportunities flood my life everyday when I can do good without prior plan or scheduled event on my calendar.  They pop up.  They whiz by unnoticed most of the time, so I have to be better attuned to the moment.  At least once in my day, I want to do good in some specific way.

Learn Something – I find great pleasure in learning something new.  Just when I think I know it all, along comes some other insight or piece of wisdom or revealed truth.  I don’t want to be like so many people who have closed the door on learning, seemingly satisfied with what they have stored in their mental file cabinets.   At least sometime during my day, I want to learn something new.

Remember – I’ve lived a long time and I have lots of things to remember.  Some of them aren’t worth the effort, but some are special.  They remind me of glorious moments of joy, times when I’ve messed up big time but still survived, very important people who have influenced and touched my life deeply.  I have more to remember than I have days left on this earth, so it’s important to reconnect with yesterday.  At least once each day, I want to walk back down the road of memory.

Reflect – I love to reflect anyway, so this one isn’t hard at all.  It seems so important for me to integrate and synthesize experiences, to look for deeper meanings, to more and more see the wholeness instead of the parts.  Everything is connected in some way, so when I reflect I invite all the diversity, the individual elements, the pieces of my life to sit down for a quiet conversation.  They usually show up.  At least once in my day, I want to thoughtfully and patiently reflect.

So, there you have it.  My plan is working fine so far.  I feel good about doing it.  But, I’m not proposing the adventure to everyone, certainly not the number nor the identity of the essential elements.  Maybe it’s not what you would choose to do.  That’s fine, too.  Just thought you might like to know.





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