Monday, June 1, 2015

Bucket Lists for Dabblers

Bucket List: A list of things to do before you "kick the bucket."

I was surprised (not sure why) to find a website where people keep track of their bucket lists, and find ideas and like-minded people: . I don't know why I have been thinking about bucket lists so much lately, possibly because I turned 42 today, and somehow feel as if I am not exactly where I am supposed to be. Intellectually I know that my Higher Power plops me right where I need to be, but I somehow feel as if I missed a turn someplace, and kept walking straight when I should have veered off the path. I have been so intent on procuring the degree and the license and the job, and listening to the voices, the voices of friends and family, of our culture, of the "right" way to do things, that I believe I have forgotten to listen to myself. Where do I want to go? What do I need to be doing in order to end up there, and is it really about the destination anyhow?

Brandon Stanton, the creator of Humans of New York, gave the commencement address at my son's college graduation a few weeks ago. He urged the graduates to follow their passions, to work every day at something they are passionate about, and the rest will follow. If one is a photographer, take pictures, don't wait to be asked to photograph the Andes for National Geographic. Or to steal a phrase from Nike, Just Do It. I could never pinpoint just one passion however, could never say with certainty growing up that I wanted to be a doctor, a lawyer, or a candlestick maker. My parachute wasn't green or violet or even chartreuse. I am a dabbler, I am passionate about so many things: yoga, writing, teaching, meditation, spirituality, animals, and the list will grow. How can I, as a dabbler, settle down into a career, stumble upon my purpose? Keep in mind, I turned 42 at 8;15 this morning. I want to work toward my degree in Medieval Literature, teach college courses, teach high school, and yoga, I want to teach creative writing, and write another novel, I want to compose music and lead meditation circles, I want to be a priest, a life coach, a mentor, a public speaker. I want to lead vinyasa yoga and teach children how to write poetry. How, just how do all of those various interests and skills and passions come together to create something unique and beautiful? Right now I am left with threads of many different colors, tangled on the floor.

So I return to the breath. What is happening in this very moment? I am writing a blog post, I am enjoying the sounds of the keys clicking, the songbirds playing and an occasional passing car. I am gazing at the beautiful painting my amazing partner gave me for my birthday, I am getting ready to head out for a yoga class, my belly filled with yummy vegan chocolate cake and chai. The rain has ceased for the moment and what is left is green and lush. I don't have to make any decisions today, I have a job for another few weeks, I have possibilities for the summer, all is just as it should be. I just need to slow down and listen, instead of trying to untangle the mess of multicolored yarn, I need to ask for guidance and listen, to use my intuition to begin to untangle the mess on the floor. Can I just slow down and listen? Good question.

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