Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sacred Life Sunday: The Big List

Today I was inspired by Jessie's list for ideas for BE BRAVE, a list in which she answered the question she asked herself: "What acts of bravery would I like to accomplish in the coming days and weeks?" I thought that by making a list of things that I'd want to do, a "BE BRAVE List", no holds barred, I might have a better chance of actually making them happen.

At the same time, I was inspired by Patti Digh's recently asking the question to her blog readers: "What would you do if you had only 37 days to live?" I wondered how many of the BE BRAVE actions would be on a "37 Days List" and vice-versa.

I also have been noticing that on my To Do List (which I call a Could Do List in a futile attempt to make me feel as though I really don't have to do these things...I know I don't...but I sort of do...see my ambivalence!) there are many actions that have languished there for a long, long time. So I thought that I'd also list my Could Do actions, and in particular note the ones there that I really don't like the process of doing, although I want or need the result of having accomplished them. I wondered if any of these actions on my "Could Do List" would be also listed as a BE BRAVE action, or if I'd care about any of them if I had only 37 Days to live!

I saw the potential for learning a lot about the tasks, myself, and what I wanted by doing this. The Big List, as I call it, is dynamic, and I'll update it regularly as I complete tasks. It will help me achieve my goals of doing things I want to that are brave, meaningful, and help me to better live the type of life I want to live.

For this entire process I didn't censor myself at all, just wrote as I was inspired. I left the lists raw and uncensored as I combined them into The Big List. It sounds like a lot of lists and a big mess, but it really is a neat little list with three columns that works really well. Notice that I did age the view of the list just because some of the actions are ultra personal or involve other people, etc. Note that I mispronounced Patti Digh's last name in the video; it actually is pronounced "dye"---thank you, Rick! The video is 2:43 long:

So The Big List, three lists combined, is more than either of the lists alone. It's way more than a souped-up To Do List. Each action can be evaluated based on whether or not it takes bravery, and whether or not it is something that I'll care about if I am aware that my time here is severely limited. It is then listed in one, two, or all three columns. It is by doing this, and by keeping the process dynamic, that I'll learn how to be braver doing things that matter to me.

It was the perfect meditative task for a Sacred Life Sunday!


GreenishLady said...

Olivia, what a wonderful approach to making your plans. Really inspired! You must have put a lot of time into producing such a list. I'm not sure now is the right time for me to do something like that, but I won't forget the idea. Wonderful! Thanks for sharing it!

laundrygirl said...

Such a great idea! Wow! This could be really powerful! At this very moment, I don't have the energy to do such a thing although I might have to give it a go in a few days. Love it!

yertle said...

What a great idea. I have been struggling lately with how to have lists that really reflect the highest things I want to do as well as the things I feel I need to do.

Olivia said...

Imelda, Kristine, and Yertle,

Thank you for your comments; it's good to see you! I should tell you, that it's really the PROCESS itself that is so much FUN!

Things like seeing into which columns each item falls and then knowing how important it REALLY is to me. And whether or not I just don't want to do it because it's nasty or because I'm actually afraid. It was relaxing, actually.

It took me only maybe an hour to put it on the computer. And probably two hours spread out throughout Sunday writing things down in my journal. So three hours all together. But it was a great deal of fun for me.

Of course this tells probably tells you something about how I'm mildly fun-starved :)

Blessings and rest and joy to you,


Patti said...

A great way to organise your thoughts Olivia.

I have ordered Patti Digh's book also and have begun already making changes in my life, one step at a time. I know it's a cliche, but life really is too short to not live consciously and to not be living your own truth. And of course, this often takes courage.

So I wish you courage, truth and happiness as you wind your way down your list :)

Olivia said...

Hello, Patti! I ordered Patti's book as well. I am excited that you took are intentionally embarking on a growth journey as well. Thank you so much for your wishes for courage, truth and happiness---those are exactly what I will need as I go through this and as I accomplish my list. I wish you the same back, my friend, xxoo, O

Leah said...

i love your big list, olivia! what a great idea!