Sunday, October 08, 2006

Creating a "to be" List

Like many people today, I have "to do" lists that I often seem to measure by the foot. Sometimes I measure a successful day not by how many tasks I accomplish, or even how good a job I do in completing these tasks. Rather, I measure success by how many inches I knock off the list. I know I've gone way off the deep end when I start comparing my "to do" lists with others and feeling smug when mine is longer or more intense. Somehow, I've made having a longer "to do" list mean that I'm somehow more important or better. "Hey, everyone, check it out! I'm more hooked into external measures of worth than you are! Neiner neiner neiner!!!"

Recently, I got to thinking about this business of "to do" lists, and I decided that what I needed was a "to be" list. I am a human being; being love, being a grandpa, a godfather, a devoted husband, lover, friend, brother, son. I'm a human being alive, being present, being awake (at least occasionally) and being a writer. Notice that we don't speak of "doing" alive, or "doing" present, or "doing" awake. These aren't tasks, they're ways of "being" in the world, ways that engender more joy, more wonder, more satisfaction and peace than any amount of doing ever could (at least for me).

My suggestion is simple. Before tackling your daily "to do" list, take a few minutes and become present to your "to be" list. Fully embody the Truth of who you really are ... who you "be." Then, out of that spacious, peaceful, awakened state of being, by all means enjoy some purposeful doing. You'll not only get a lot done, you'll also have a great day.