Vacation (Holiday) Life Plans

Holiday thinking © elizabethdarby 2011

Holiday thinking
© elizabethdarby 2011

If you’ve been following this blog (and I thank all of you who are; it makes my day to see your smiles!), you’ll know that I posed a question a few weeks ago:

“If tomorrow were your last day on Earth,

what would you be really sad you’ve never done?”

Hopefully a number of you made the list, and put it on your official To Do Today action list!

Ooh, that sounds so important that “To Do Today Action List”!

For stationery junkies like me, I imagine a new project notebook, new pens, and a whole sheet of paper with the first column being my Official Super-duper To Do Today Action List… with room to the right for the details of how I will get it done and a little box I get to check off once I’ve achieved it.

But there’s something missing here…

It’s the place and space for the feelings. It’s the big space in our souls where we can treasure how it feels to really get this lovely dream Done!

After all, it’s not about ticking off the boxes, it’s about how joyful and lovely it feels to be In the Dream while achieving it.

So I offer another way to approach this ‘what I really want to do is…” list:

Holiday — or Vacation — thinking.

When on a holiday (not the Christmas kind but the ones you dream about and delight in taking), think of how you feel a few days before it’s over — while in the middle of it — before you are heading back Home. Think of the moment when you awaken, happy, rested, looking forward to another day on holiday, and you ask yourself and beloveds,

“So, what else do we want to do? What else would be fun for today…?”

So many key words there:

For Fun

Today

Want… to do

Do you feel how delightful even just the question feels?

There’s not a thing in your way. There’s no wrong answer. There’s no sense of should or have to, no shall we nor can I. No, it’s just pure joyful potential for a day to be spent . . .

for fun, today, and doing what you desire to do.

That which you enjoy doing, a dream being experienced, a moment to carry and remember and which feels like the energy and fuel of life.

It is.

I suggest boldly (and brazenly, perhaps) that this is how we should make our To Do Action Lists when thinking of our “Next Act” in our lives. This is true whether it’s a Next as in career, job, work, or next as in dream, life, love and task being On Purpose and using our gifts to contribute to our aching world.

I’m not the only one; as I noted in my book the great composer/musician/conductor Leonard Bernstein had the same philosophy: When not sure of what to do next, he searched his soul and the horizon for, he said, what he called “the next fun thing.”

I, for one, don’t mind using his amazing life as a mentor and coach for my own time here.

Another thing I suggest boldly is:

This is the way we are meant to live, to spend our Life-time here being: On Purpose and on Task, doing what we are so very talented at doing, and in service of that bountiful energy that is Love and Life and Being,

bringing beauty and shine to the world.

There’s a commercial on PBS — perhaps you’ve seen it: A man asks a number of the public what each would do if s/he could earn money doing exactly what s/he wanted . . . and the list comes out: architect, teacher, sky-diver, cafe-owner . . . and the ‘kicker’ is that if you invest your money with his company, you can indeed ‘pay yourself to do what you wish to do’ as, he says, “it’s called retirement.”

My last bold suggestion: It’s how we should be living our lives right now.

Not as if already in retirement’ but rather in paying oneself (i.e. valuing oneself and the gifts and talents you carry and are given) to do the work you are here to do and to which you can bring your best soul and self, your best talents and sense of purpose, passion and excitement.

And yes, choosing your Today Action Tasks even with your Holiday/Vacation mindset:

to live this day and this moment On Task, On Purpose, and joyfully bringing your best You into this world.

Wherever you are, have a lovely (Holiday) day today; there’s no time like right now to download that feeling into your heart, and let it light up your time, your day and your energetic smile.

So as you tick off your Done this Dream on your list, you feel — really feel — the sweet joy of your soul smiling.

Wouldn’t the world be a lovely place if we all were On Task and On Purpose, joyfully doing our best with our talents, gifts, and passion each and every day?

Blessings on your day!

Elizabeth Darby

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“As courage”

I was blessed with these departing words — ‘As courage,’ as in the verb avoir in the tu form in French, have, and means in this case ‘take or have courage’ — a little under a decade ago by a lovely older woman, a much beloved mom of my friend.  She knew a bit about what she bid me to take as we departed company that day — “Have courage”  — as she’d done work with the French Resistance as a teen in her native France and she’d raised two girls on her own as a mother who’d been left by a husband and father when her children were very young. She knew what it was to have courage, to take courage, and she said this to me as I was facing the beginning of some challenging times in my own life-time here.

 “As courage, …”

I took the words to heart; the encouragement brought to mind a model of grace and fortitude I would attempt as I faced the coming storms buffeting my own home and family at the time. And I knew the phrase to mean both to “take heart” and “to have courage”, especially when used as a phrase when departing, as she intended.

 

What I didn’t know till this week was how the now-superstar “researcher-storyteller” Brené Brown described courage.  (TED talk here; (yes, I’m behind cultural times apparently, as her star flashed over a year ago.)

In one of its earliest forms, the word courage literally had a very different definition than it does today.

 

Courage originally meant

“To speak one’s mind by telling all one’s heart.” . . .

 

What else are we to do but “to tell all one’s heart” when creating our Work, when being people who live our work and work our lives On Task and On Purpose?

I’ve anguished often over how smarmy my book is. As a journalist who was trained to ‘tell the story like it was’ in national media and to do that  required a good cynicism (notice I didn’t say healthy) toward all aspects of the story I was covering, my offering a book that is encouraging you to be  honestly who you are and to create the work ‘only you can do’ has often felt like I’ve donned an angel sweatshirt and grin absurdly. Indeed much of the response I received from others while writing it — the ones who were able to talk rather than choke on their snort and scoff as I told them about it— was that such an idea, that we each have work that only we can do, was preposterous.

 

I noted silently that these early responses came from those who at best endured what they were doing with their life-time, but felt they couldn’t quit as they ‘needed the money.’ That most of these folks were well into the 7 figure salaries told me they were fearful and trapped; what if… was a dangerous question to them, even though “doing one’s Work here” doesn’t mean necessary impoverishment.

 

So to see Ms. Brown’s amazing TED talk — even belatedly — brings tears to my eyes.

Have courage.

Yes, do have the courage to tell all of your heart.

Have courage to do that which combines your heart’s telling with your talents, your skills, your passion, your soul, in the service of that which you care about.

 

Have the courage to be You, shining in this world, On Task and On Purpose.

And if you don’t know what that is, have the courage to go on a journey of discovery.

I woulld love it if I – and/or the little questions in my book —  would give you a good start.

Blessings on whatever you do with your day today; may it involve the telling of all of your heart in some way.

Elizabeth Darby

 

PS there’s another little reflection on what it is to have courage at my other blog: Earth: Sacred/Possession, too.

“The most rewarded . . .

Quote

 . . . and the most important

here on Earth — and beyond —
are those putting to work
their talents, abilities and vision
on behalf of their Souls, the Universe,
and the needs of the World.
For they create Beauty here and now.”

 

 

Here You Begin —

Elizabeth D.