Sunday Box Talk – On Artistic Blocks, Fear, and Forward Movement

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As many of know, I’m an author.  Last July, my coauthor Rachel Wilder and I decided to go independent with our Chicagoland Shifters series.  That’s when the trouble started.  It was as though I was a creative car engine, and I ran out of oil.  I had plenty of gas, but no lubricant and the engine locked up.  Boom.  Nothing.

Artistic blocks are frustrating because there’s nothing visibly wrong  But it’s like we’re bleeding to death with no blood coming out.  And it’s incredibly difficult to talk about, because, after all, there’s nothing tangible that’s wrong.  If we say something to the wrong person, we risk further blockage, requiring us to practice vigilant self-care in selecting our friends.  I remember I told someone I was having a block, and she guffawed a loud bark.  “A blocked Noony isn’t the same as anyone else blocked.”  Only, it is, and I was, and damn it, it’s hard to get support.

Apropos of which, if you are feeling tuck, or clotted, or a vague yearning to make or write something, honor that and get help.  The Artist’s Way is a great resource, as is a good therapist.  So is taking a class or meeting with a friend to make or write something, no matter how small.

But my point in writing this is to say, there’s been forward movement.  In December, we did “Six Geese Laid – A Holiday Fable,” set in the world of the Chicagoland Shifters  In March, I was accepted to the Romance Divas Mentor Boot Camp and get to work with bestselling author Violet Vaughn.

In working with Violet, I’ve gotten Cat’s Cradle up on Apple and Barnes and Noble.  I’m working on Kobo and ARe (All Romance eBooks).  CreateSpace is nearly ready; I just have to fix the footers.

I know in business, speed to market is critical to success and sometimes a key differentiator between success and failure.  I feel like I did everything wrong with our indie launch, but it’s taught me some important lessons:

  1. Just show up.  You can’t get the job done if you don’t get to work.
  2. “Right” is none of my business.  Just do the next task.
  3. Blockage is real.  I am not lazy, I’m blocked.
  4. I can get unblocked.
  5. Blocks are a normal part of the artist’s life.
  6. Asking for help is a sign of strength, especially when it doesn’t feel like it.
  7. It’s hard to work a full time job, have a functioning family, be a writer, and an indie author.  That’s a lot of balls to keep in the air.
  8. I like challenges.  The December gym challenge got me to the gym 25 days in a row, and the April A to Z Blog Challenge got me blogging daily on three blogs, plus two team blogs and guest posts.
  9. Sometimes, you need to just fucking do it.  I started a Facebook group for Writer Zen Garden – I kept waiting for the right time and realized if I kept doing that, I’d wait forever.
  10. PTSD and anorexia suck.  In case you were wondering.

The moral of this story, or the “key takeaway” in corpspeak, is that the only failure is not getting back up.  In July, I got Cat’s Cradle up on Amazon. I still haven’t figured out what stopped me putting it on the other vendor sites, but something did.  Self-sabotage, most likely.  Rather than sit and reflect on that, I can work with Violet and other writer friends and move forward, however slowly, to get it out on the other sites.  I’m still not finished, but each experience teaches me something.  For example, next time, I may hire someone to do the uploads.  It is probably worth the money to pay them to do it quickly and efficiently, rather than this eight month lag-time and shame-fest that I’ve been drowning in.

If you’re reading this and seeing any echoes of your own experience, know this:  just start now.  Start where you are, today.  Make something.  Write some words.  And most of all, forgive yourself for yesterday.  We can only control where we are now, int eh present day.  So own it, own your dream, and own your progress.

We can do this.

Write on.

Sunday Box Talk – Creating a Reading List

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What do you want to study?  Maybe you just want to read the Great Books, or the history of Ireland, or about the conflict going on in the Middle East.  Other than asking the internet and getting some pithy sound bytes, but no real information, how do you go about learning about these subjects?

Creating a bibliography is a skill.  Knowing what to include, and what not to include, takes practice.  Doing so can teach you a lot about a subject even before you’ve read all the books available to you.

How to Create a Reading List

  1. Start with what’s available.  Go to the internet and look up the syllabi for courses that cover the subject you’re studying.  Use them as a starting point, because the professor includes the books that they think are the best ones for the subject.
  2. Ask your reference librarian to help you put together a good list.  They’ll love you for it – it’s way more interesting than telling people how to get to the bathroom.  Trust me.
  3. When you find a good book, see what they include in their list of references.  Go check those out and see what you think.
  4. Write notes on what you’re reading.  Talk to yourself.  The best way to learn from books is to engage with them.  Respect your own opinions.
  5. Talk to others who are interested in the same subject.  See what books and resources they like.

What about you, Dear Reader?  What subjects make you curious?

Sunday Box Talk – Be a Lifelong Student

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So let’s say you’ve decided to become a student again.  You want to learn new things, develop new skills, maybe have some fun.  Now what?

Well, first thing is to learn to be a novice again.  Let yourself be bad at something, in order to get better.  Studying is a challenge, too.  Spend time with the material.  Take notes.  Let yourself have the luxury of working at it.

Once you have all that down, what next?  Where do you find classes for adults?

Some Ways To Be a (Good) Student

  • VTC – Virtual Training Company (software training)
    • Have you wanted to learn to develop websites?  Make better photographs?  Do video production?  Check out their course offerings.  They have affordable monthly payment options or you’d save by signing up for a full year.  Those of you looking for a job in I.T., they have training for certification programs like A+.
  • Craftsy
    • Wanna knit?  Weave? Sew? Cook?  The list goes on.  They have a number of free classes, so you can get an idea of how the platform works.  Watch out; this maybe prove to be as addictive as Netflix.
  • Meetup
    • Prefer meeting with people in person?  There are meetups for almost every interest, from writing to science, gaming to coffee, travel to local exploration.  Attendance at many meetups are free.
  • Museums
    • Pro-tip: search Google for “museums” and see what pops up near you.  Many museums offer free days for locals, or you can get a pass at your local library.  Try asking your local librarian for suggestions.  You never know what you might find.
  • Community or City College
    • In California, they’re called community college.  Here in Chicago, it’s City Colleges of Chicago.  Whatever you call them, these institutions bridge the gap from high school to a four year university.  They also have courses that train students for disciplines like nursing or supply chain management.  You can also learn stuff you didn’t learn in high school or university.  Miss an opportunity to study calculus?  Want to try literature?  Learn a new language?
  • Park Districts and Adult Centers
    • Check out your local park center and adult community centers.  You can learn all sorts of things from woodworking to jewelry.  These classes tend to be very reasonably priced, too.

What about you, Dear Reader?  What are your favorite educational tips?

Sunday Box Talk – How To Take a Sabbatical

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I’ve taken sabbaticals a couple times in my life.  While it’s scary to buck the accepted norm, doing so can teach you a lot about yourself and why you’re on this planet.

The first time, I was twenty-five.  I decided to make a solo climb on Mount Lassen, in Northern California.  I got nearly to the peak and sat down to take a break.  Looking south over the Sierra Nevada Mountains, I realized something:  if I followed what my parents wanted me to do, I’d end up where they were – and I didn’t want that.  I didn’t want a predictable, safe, corporate life.

I wanted to be a writer.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was very young.  Unfortunately, writing isn’t one of those career choices that overjoy parents, particularly when their priority is to have the kind of offspring that they can brag about.  My mother died ashamed of my career choices, convinced that the life choices I made were going to send me down the path to failure.  Fortunately for me, by the time she told me that, I knew in my bones that being a writer was the right choice for me.

But to get there, I had to walk through fire.  At twenty-five, I ran my own department at a large corporation in Silicon Valley.  When I gave notice to quit, the Vice President – General Manager of one of the three main business units called me into his office.  He offered me the assignment I’d busted my ass to earn:  Market Research Analyst in a team that had offices worldwide – including Russia, which directly related to my bachelors’ degree in Russian.

I turned him down.

Instead, I moved north to the town of Mount Shasta.  We lived on fifty acres of forested land, seven miles out of the tiny town named after the mountain.  I worked in a local bookstore for a dragon of a boss, one of the first abusive bosses I had.  The torture was worth it:  I spent all my time writing or hiking.  In the year that I was there, I produced over fifteen hundred pages and learned a very important lesson:

Publishers don’t knock your door down with contracts to publish your book.

I realized that my next step was to get a good day job that would support my writing passion.  I moved to Las Vegas for two years, which was an awful idea.  Las Vegas is not the town for me.  I found Chicago.  I’ve been here ever since.  After working in the finance industry for almost ten years, I realized that I wanted to downshift, and took another sabbatical.

And now, I realized I have some ideas on how to make sabbaticals work.  I figured I’d share with you.

Five tips for a successful sabbatical.

  1. Be brave.  Be willing to face the possibility of failure.
  2. Lower your financial expectations.  You’ll be surprised what you can live without if you try.
  3. Learn to save.  Even if you can’t take a year off today, you can start saving money so you can do that when you want to.
  4. Shorten your timeframe.  I know a year-long sabbatical sounds romantic, but sometimes we just can’t swing it due to financial realities and family commitments.  If that’s the case, try swinging a weekend or two weeks’ vacation.  Get a hotel or even a youth hostel and work on your writing.
  5. Decide what your priorities are.  Do you want to be successful at your corporate job, working for someone else’s dream?  Or do you want to be a writer and follow your own pied piper?

Sunday Box Talk – The Purpose of Education

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What’s the purpose of education? Nowadays, increasingly, it’s to get a job. It’s more about technical training than it is about educating the mind. And yet, with the proliferation of smartphones, always-on internet connectivity, and ever expanding inflow of information sources, we need the benefits that a good education bring more than ever before.

In classical terms, to be educated meant that one knew how to think. The discipline of thinking wasn’t just something one did; it required work, application, and skill. We’ve forgotten this skill, and that’s a bad thing. It used to be that an educated person would read certain pieces, in common with other educated people, and then engage in discussion about the ideas on those pieces. While the “canon” has been attacked as being male, white, and patriarchal, the ideas contained in it are as valuable now as they were fifty or a hundred years ago. There’s nothing wrong with studying the classical canon, and then adding to it all the rich heritage of minority and women’s voices.

One thing lacking in today’s environment is the ability to hold a competing idea in one’s head long enough to understand the other person’s point of view. We’ve lost the art of discourse. It used to be that one could listen to another person’s thoughts, digest them, and then either disagree or agree once one was certain one understood them. In fact, Mortimer J. Adler argues that one cannot truly agree nor disagree until and unless one has fully comprehended what the other has had to say.

Something else I’ve noticed is that we don’t have gatekeepers for incoming information anymore. It comes at us with the velocity of a fire hose, all the time. If we’re away from our computer, it comes to our smartphone. If it doesn’t come there, it’s on the television at the gas pump, (how offensive is that?). When my grandfather was alive, you would get a large newspaper on Sundays and the day was spent relaxing and reading – long – articles.  Now, news is delivered in soundbytes, and the average length of articles is 300 to 500 words – a blip when compared to articles from even just fifteen years ago.

So What Do We Do To Educate Ourselves?

There are many tools available to us.  Some of them are modern, and related to the internet.  Some of them are old-school, and related to how we control incoming information.

  1. Read.  A lot.  Whether it’s ebooks, traditional books, or Bartleby.
  2. Turn off the inflow.  Try it for one day a week – don’t go on the internet, social media, or your smartphone.  See what the real world has to offer you.
  3. Write.  Journal and get in touch with your own thoughts.
  4. Read about other smart people.  A couple awesome biographies are by Benjamin Franklin and Montaigne’s essays.
  5. Throw a party and talk about smart stuff.  Why not revive the Victorian tradition of the salon?  Have cocktails, snacks, and talk about the great ideas.

What about you, Dear Reader?  What do you want to learn?

Sunday Box Talk – Getting Back To Basics

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Getting back to basics – what are the three boxes of life? It’s an idea from Richard Nelson Bolles, author of What Color Is Your Parachute. He points out that the three big boxes most of us deal with are education, work, and retirement. Bolles proposes something that’s nothing short of revolutionary – why keep the boxes in the traditional order of school when we’re young, then work for most of our adult life, then retire in our “golden years?” Why not mix it up a little?

I’ve talked about the idea of changing things up and the objections I hear amount to one thing: fear of challenging the status quo. What does following the status quo give us? Don’t reject it out of hand: predictability, stability, and familiarity. Those things aren’t trifles, and they’re not to be sneezed at. In times of great stress, usually it’s one or more of those three things that are impacted that causes all the stress. Why would we want to bring that about ourselves?

Here’s why: when we do things out of order, such as work as youth, or go back to school in later years, or take a year or six months off as a sabbatical, it teaches us things about ourselves that we would learn in no other way. By challenging the patterns that have become routine, it engages parts of our brain that aren’t usually in use as we go through life on auto-pilot. While it can be scary, it can be exhilarating and allow us to see things in new ways.

We also have a myth that we’re supposed to be good at something before we even start it. I can’t tell you how many people argue with me when I suggest they go back to school to study something that interests them. “Oh, I’m no good at such-and-such.” Being good at something is what you aim to be after education, not before.

If we open our minds to the possibility of changing around the order of things, what might happen? We might go back to school after forty, or fifty, or seventy. We might take a sabbatical and go live somewhere rural to study sustainable farming. We might take a gap year before going to college, to give ourselves time to cool off after high school and get some needed life skills.

What about you, Dear Reader? What might you try if you shook up your status quo?

Sunday Box Talk – The Toolbox

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“Success doesn’t come to you, you go to it.”
– Marva Collins

It’s easy to lament the things we don’t have yet. The media bombards us with images of more successful, more slender, more athletic, more successful people every day. New media come online every day, methods of distracting us from ourselves: even the dollar store as the “dollar store radio network” to talk to you while you hunt for bargains. Is it any wonder we feel bombarded? Or, worse, bad about ourselves because we’re not where we want to be?

I offer a thought for a beleaguered mind: gratitude.

Give thanks for the good that exists in your life, right now. Even if there doesn’t seem like much you could possibly be grateful for, the fact that you are alive and reading this newsletter is enough. Imagine if you were in Baghdad right now, sitting in the bombed-out shell of your temple, trying to pray with the sounds of mortars booming in the distance? What if one hits your neighborhood? The fact that we live in relative peace and calm, pursuing making a living and our hobbies, is a subject we can offer much gratitude for. Sure, not everything is perfect. But much of it is good.

Try numbering a sheet from one to ten, and write down ten things you’re grateful for. See if you can’t go past ten. How do you feel?

Now I propose that we become pilgrims on the path to self. We will do this together, side by side, shoulder to shoulder. Our tools are our bright minds and our love for each other. The first item in our toolbox is Gratitude. Learn to say thank you with an open heart. If you need ideas for how, go grab a copy of Sarah Ban Breathnach’sSimple Abundance, one of the best books written in the last two decades. Try her Gratitude Journal. Select a small, pretty book. Each night, just before you go to sleep, write down five things you are grateful for from the day. That’s all. Just five.

Sunday Box Talk – The Way

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“It’s time to start living the life you’ve imagined.”
– Henry James

Writing is, much of the time, a lonely pursuit. The writer sits by themselves, even in the midst of others, setting down thoughts in some form that has never existed before. They struggle to capture a vision only they can see and hope to send it out into the world to good reception. The world, consumed by its own concerns and cares, is not always gentle on this writer’s creation.

The good news is that if you are trying to create, you are not alone. There are others on the path with you who, while they may not be on the same path, are nevertheless engaged in parallel pursuits that can inform and illuminate your own. This is good news for many of us who are, for all intents and purposes, very sensitive beings. (I’m sure there are writers out there who don’t care a bean for others’ opinions, but I don’t know any. Do you?)

Many of you have participated in the Artist’s Way or other related material by Julia Cameron, either on your own or in one of the workshops we have held. This process yields many insights that deserve to be shared among those of us struggling to make our voices heard above the din. There are also a number of lifesaving, and writer-saving, tools that we can pass from hand to hand, sort of like water in the desert or food in a famine. If you have a tool that’s been particularly helpful to you, please share it and it will see light in these pages. It is to be hoped that our light can shine brightly enough that it will help others to see, as well as ourselves. And sometimes, when you hold a flashlight, you don’t realize just how bright that light is until you have it pointed in your direction. In darkness, even a pen light can blind you.

The first tool that Julia Cameron offers us, in nearly every book on creativity that she writes, is Morning Pages. She’s even got them in her book The Writing Diet, which is a book about our bodies and not our body of work. Why this seeming obsession with writing in the morning? Is she that abnormality, an artist who is a morning person? (If she is, can I shoot her?) Is she sadistic?

Over the years, I have found her to be spot-on. Morning Pages have consistently helped me create more than I ever dreamed possible. They’ve helped with my writing, my knitting, even my relationship and my job. Why? Well, that’s a little complicated to answer. For me, they act as something Julia Cameron calls ‘spiritual chiropractic.’ What that means is they align me with my higher sense of self, that wise inner voice that we sometimes move too fast to hear.

A shaman once told me that our power exists in the moment. It is only by being present in the moment that we are able to access it. When we are afraid, we are in the future: what might happen. When we are angry, we are in the past: what did happen. When we are in the moment, we are present in the now and able to respond to what is going on around us, right now. Many gurus recommend a meditation practice in order to access this “in the moment” awareness. I am not really cut out for meditation, because I’m usually too busy, and frankly not very good at it. Pages allow me to “do” something while really “doing” nothing at all but allowing my thoughts to come down onto the paper. Since Morning Pages aren’t about writing, (in fact writers may find them very hard to do since they want to “write” them and not just do them), I am not required to actively cognate on paper. This frees me to be as in the moment as I want to be. “I’m on the train. I’m here at the table, drinking coffee.” My pages are filled with little observations like that. In fact, when I get stuck for something to write next, I usually inventory where I am at the moment: in a conference room at lunch break, in the museum on my Artist Date, on the bus, on the train, in the car waiting for my husband… to whit, in the moment.

Natalie Goldberg, another creativity and writing author, talks about this in terms of her Zen practice. She lamented to her instructor that she wasn’t meditating enough. He laughed and pointed out then when she was writing, she was in the moment, in the flow, and therefore meditating. One of Goldberg’s suggestion in Writing Down the Bones is to fill up one notebook a month. Once the focus is on the production of writing, not the quality, it disconnects the cognitive mind from having to “write well” and becomes about simply writing, filling up the notebook. This can be remarkably liberating, because it isn’t about anything other than just setting pen to paper for x number of pages.

Many people ask me if the Morning Pages must be done in the morning. Why not Night Pages? When I first started with the Artist’s Way, I was a confirmed night person. I worked a second-shift job from 4:00 P.M. to midnight and stayed up until 5:00 A.M. and didn’t get up until noon. I wrote whenever I had the time and inclination. As long as I got three pages in, or five since that was my daily goal at the time, I was happy. I got a lot of benefit from it, too – I worked on my Artist’s Way exercises, chakra work, poetry, fiction; all kinds of things. Then one day a few years ago I decided to try them in the actual morning, right after I walked my dog, Coyote. I’d walk Coyote for about thirty or forty minutes, then sit down and do my pages. I had an altogether different experience of them. It’s hard to quantify the difference. Perhaps it was the fact that I wasn’t awake yet, so I was more able to contact my inner voice. Perhaps it was that the day hadn’t cluttered up my mind yet, so I was better able to hear myself. Whatever it was, I enjoyed it and liked the results. I’ve done them as near to first thing ever since.

I saw Julia Cameron speak on her recent book tour for The Writing Diet. She was adamant on the subject of Morning Pages. She said the reason for that is that at night, the day is already over. You can’t change any of it. By doing the pages in the morning, you stand a chance of determining your responses throughout the day, and thereby making more time for yourself and your art. At night, you can only lament lost chances. I thought that was an interesting point.

A lot of the Artist’s Way is about recovering your own autonomy. It doesn’t matter what your voice has to say, whether your medium be the written word or ceramics or metal or dance. It just matters that you are clear enough to hear and then express it. The exercises and tools are aimed at helping us to uncover from societal conditioning against such independence. For some of us, we have not only societal conditioning but familial interference to deal with. Using the tools, like Morning Pages but also the exercises, I’ve been able to clear out the clutter of my mental landscape so I can finally hear myself.

Try it for yourself. You don’t have to believe they’ll work, just give them a try and see what happens for you. The scientific method isn’t about knowing what will happen ahead of time, it’s about deciding on a course of experimentation, trying it, and recording the results. If they are lunch pages, afternoon smoke break pages, night pages, middle of the night pages, or morning pages, just try writing three pages of them, longhand, every day. The next day, three more. And the next day, three more. And again. Again.

Like a heartbeat. Or a river. Learn to hear yourself again.

Originally published on Noonsense blog, 06/11/2010.

Sunday Box Talk – Scheduling Fun

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Unless you plan ahead, you will fail to catch what you’re hunting. This is one of the two baby snow leopards at the Brookfield Zoo, as she tries to catch one of the hanging toys in her habitat.

I know there’s a lot of ink spent on talking about new year’s resolutions about now.  I don’t actually go in for that all that much, other than to set an intention for the Roman New Year, since, being Wiccan, my new year is actually at the end of October.  But I do think that taking advantage of the collective energy around goal-setting is useful.  Here, then, are some suggestions.

Five Tips For Fun

  1. Put it in your calendar.  Each month, set aside at least one weekend day for an outing.  It doesn’t have to cost – hiking is free, and many public events are too.  Here in Chicago, for example, the Lincoln Park Zoo and the Chicago Cultural Center are both free, as are libraries.
  2. Don’t scoff at libraries; they’ve had to make it into the twenty-first-century and have embraced it with ebooks, new media, and the old favorite, books.  You can get DVDs and music for free, and some offer laptops and even e-readers to patrons.
  3. Talk about it!  Go on Facebook or Twitter and make your intentions public – there’s nothing like knowing others are watching to make us follow through on commitments – even commitments to fun!
  4. Check out meetup.com.  There are thousands of free events, all over the globe, for every type of interest.  If you don’t find what you’re looking for, consider starting one.  (Hosting a meetup isn’t free, but it’s not exorbitant either; many enterprising hosts, like me, say, ask for donations and receive enough to cover the fees that Meetup charges.  Attending is free; hosting is what costs.)
  5. Take pictures!  Use your smartphone, cell phone camera, or even kick it old-school and use a standalone camera to record your daily round.  Social media like Facebook and Instagram, not to mention photography forums like Imgur and Picasa, let you share with others around the globe.  Make new friends and share ideas!

What about you, Dear Reader?  What fun is in YOUR calendar?

Sunday Box Talk – Get IN the Box!

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It’s ramping up to be the Holiday Season.  Thanksgiving is coming, it’s NaNoWriMo, and soon it will be the Winter Holidays.  Busy much?

Usually I talk about how to get out of the boxes of life. Today, I want to talk about how to use them.

Many times when we’re trying to figure out how to Do All the Things, we get stuck in list mania.  We create list after list after list until we burn them all on a pyre of Too Many Things.

Melodramatic, I know. But true.

So what to do?

Create boxes.

Try it with me.  Take a full-sized sheet of paper (oh, come now, of course you have paper – raid the printer, the back of a bill, or borrow from your kids’ school supplies) and draw a line down the middle from top to bottom.  Then draw a line across the middle from left to right. This makes four boxes.

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Now comes the hard part.  Pick four topics.  Only four, and make them as inclusive as possible.  Here, I’ll start:

  1. Housework
  2. Kids’ stuff (school, after school, carpooling, whatever)
  3. Family (this is for people not living with you, either friends or family members in other places or down the street)
  4. Work

That’s one example.  Here’s another one:

  1. Exercise and eating well
  2. Writing/Reading/Education
  3. Family and Friends
  4. Homemaking (housework, meals, etc.)

Pro-Tip: Think “Vital,” not just “Urgent”

Stephen Covey describes “urgencies” as a ringing phone: something that demands our immediate attention but that may, or may not, be important to us.  “Vital” are the things that we want to make sure we do before we die: write a book, travel to Paris, spend time with ____, go to spiritual services regularly, go on retreat, etc. etc.  They don’t come with a ringing alarm bell, and they are easy to push aside when the urgencies come calling.  The urge to write that book gets buried under carpool schedules and dinner preparation and work demands.  The savings for going on the dream trip get spent on expensive lattes and junk fast food or, worse, necessities because we have to tighten our belts due to layoffs or underemployment.

The Vital won’t get done if it doesn’t even make it on the list.

So use the box technique to think outside of the box.  If you have a vital something that hasn’t made it onto the “done” list this week, why not try today?  Trust that now is the time, this is the week, and we’re not gonna wait another minute.  It doesn’t have to be the only thing we do this week, to the exclusion of all else.  Any dream can come to fruition with baby steps.  Paris can be visited with a guide book – so get one at the library this afternoon.  A book can be written in 30 minute increments – so shut off the internet and write a letter to yourself about the book you want to write.  If you have children under 18 at home, why not include them in this process?  Have them hold you accountable for working on your vital list between now and next weekend.  Imagine the progress that might happen then?

So, what’s on YOUR list?