to meditate two times every day,
to chant every morning,
to exercise in a way that promotes weight loss and optimum health every day,
to eat real food that I have cooked every day,
to experience companionship and develop relationships every day,
to spend ample time alone in reflection every day,
to spend time engaging Paz & Buddha Baby every day,
to write – blog or journal every day,
to study the dharma every day,
to read books – Buddhist and fiction to name a few – every day,
to watch TV – yes watch TV – but maybe not every day,
to experience nature at least almost every day,
to sleep well – for as long as my body needs – every night,
Oh and I can’t forget my hospice volunteer work, Sundays and Thursdays at AIM, the book club, potluck, hiking club, singing bowls, extra classes, teaching, writing and giving dharma talks, being present when someone needs me, keeping a clean and organized house, feeding the birds, weeding the flower beds, sweeping the porch, responding to emails, surfing the web, and yes, posting on Facebook.
Is that everything I want to do? No wait! I forgot Spa de la Paz…I want to do that too. And maybe get a massage for myself, or some Reiki, or acupuncture, or go see a doctor, deposit a check, or buy that food I want to cook.
I want to do it all. There is no “job” in my way; nothing I have to do. Really, aside from feeding me, Paz, and Buddha Baby – and tending to their toilet needs – there is nothing on this list that I have to do.
Everything on this list supports my values; feeds my soul (so to speak). Yet trying to do them all usually (always) results in the opposite of achieving my goal to mindfully act in accordance with my values – always.
What if I’m kind to myself? I’m not talking about giving myself a way out – a free pass to not do what I want to do. But a more wholesome perspective regarding what I want to do…a more realistic approach to what I do…every day. What if the only thing I did every single day was be present in the moment of that particular day?
What if while I’m meditating, exercising, cooking, eating, writing, or doing anything at all, I’m just fully present with what I’m doing right then and right there – and not in my head thinking about what I’m not doing, or should be doing, or will be doing later, or how what I’m doing will or won’t give me something I can cross off the to-do list?
I think I’ll try that…again.