Even though much of my work is literally TOO BIG FOR WORDS, occasionally I am inspired to write, and this is the place for that. Feel free to join in the conversation. Thanks for reading.
"He's making a list, checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty or nice..." We know that Santa isn’t the only one making lists? 'Tis the season of frenzy. Usually I have at least three running in December: gifts to get, cookies to bake, clothes to pack for Cincinnati. It's 12/7 and I haven't yet made a list of the gifts to buy and treats to bake. Have you? Truth be told, I find my heart racing with the return of that old mantra: “What else do I need to buy or bake?" Moreso each year, I find myself dreaming up ways to tolerate the demon of consumerism.
This year I’ve decided the first list I’m making is my “TO BE" list. Before I begin the googling-wrapping-baking-packing frenzy, I am going to decide how I am going to enjoy it all, who I want to spend time with and how I want to feel. I want to be more mindful this season, especially as I spend my high school senior's last holiday at home and travel to see my aging parents who are increasingly less able to complete their TO DO lists. I want to be calm and quiet supporting my son's healing his concussion. I want to create fun family memories for my brood and be able to participate fully in them. I want to spend more energy being present and less time buying presents. I want to slow down and savor the season.
I want to BE more and DO less.
Who doesn’t enjoy receiving the gift of another person’s full presence? It’s returnable, renewable and sustainable! I am so grateful, having just marked my 300th Circle, to be present with so many wonderful women, giving each other the gift of presence as we practice mindfulness, brainstorm possibilities for purpose and learn to bring compassion to our shadow selves. What a gift - to be able to do what I love! I recently realized that the best presents are those gifts of time, thoughts and intangible connections that sing, “I see you!”. I can already feel the positive impact creating my TO BE list is having on that not-yet-formed-but-waiting-in-the-wings TO DO list.
Believe it or not, several of you have been asking to hear more from me (yahoo!) and so the idea of a “Saturday Spark from Sue” bubbled up in my meditation this week. I will try to be short and sweet (like a savory morsel), and also to add a bit of spark and maybe even sass to your Saturday! Feel free to savor, share or sass right back at me. Let the fun begin!
Here’s your deep dive opportunity for the week: Create your own TO BE list. Start by asking yourself “How do I want to be - today, this week, this month?” If “BEing” feels foreign (as you are more a master of DOing), fear not. Begin by asking yourself how you want to FEEL? This, too, may sound odd at first; keep asking. How do you want to BE right here, right now? What do you most want to remember about this moment in time? What do you want your children, your spouse, your friends, to notice, enjoy or remember about this holiday? From there, go ahead and write up your “TO DO’s” and then apply the lens of your TO BE list. See what is affirmed, what needs to be modified or even crossed out. For example, if I truly want to slow down and savor the season, and am realistic about what can be accomplished given 18 days until Christmas, I absolutely must simplify. My focus becomes: What matters most? If I want to BE more centered, I must maintain some semblance of my meditation practice daily - if only sitting still for 10 minutes! How do you want TO BE and how does it impact what you have TO DO? Let me know. I’m listening.
Although most of the work I am privileged to do in the world is literally TOO BIG FOR WORDS, occasionally I am inspired to put some words to my experience, and this is the landing place. Chime in the conversation. Your voice is needed.