Sunday, March 18, 2012

Reset Sunday: The Things That Bring Me Back

For a print of this illustration, click here

Ever since I was a child, I loved list-making. Lists would consolidate and distill my ideas, tasks, wishes, thoughts and observations into a very clear, concise, and manageable space. Everyone is a familiar with the old standard: the To-do List. While often helpful, I am going leave that diligent-worker list behind for now in favor of a light-hearted list that brims with joy, playfulness, and wonder. I call this list: "The Things that Bring Me Back" This list catalogues all the things big and small that make you feel the joy of being alive. They are the things that awaken you to the thrill of the moment; that catapult you into a state of awe and expansiveness, that warm you with love and open you heart.
   We all have days when we feel like the sunshine has been drained out and been replaced with a dull internal monotone. We feel disconnected and disinterested. We see no progress, no significant change, and our sense of meaning seems poorly fabricated, flimsy at best. This is exactly what we need to be "brought back" from. We have travelled down the gloomy path of apathy, discouragement or sadness and this list reminds of the things that serve as golden lifelines back to ourselves, restoring our energy, our sense of purpose and innate joy.
   So sit down and let your mind roam until you stumble upon these special things that bring you back. They will be unique to you so don't judge them or edit. Just be honest and true to yourself. Meditating for a half hour each day may be what you think should work but maybe it is actually just seeing a funny picture of a cat. My list took the form of a doodle but you can also just write a regular vertical list, use colorful markers, draw pictures of add photos, or just type it into your computer. Just the act of writing this list can help remind you of why life is so grand! Post your list in places you see often: over your desk, on the refrigerator, in the bathroom. Read it often, especially when you feel lost and need to find your way back.

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