mantra that breakdowns produce breakthroughs. And the bigger the breakdown, the more significant the potential breakthrough. It doesn't change current events, but it does refine my focus and move me to think about what keeps me going versus what keeps me up at night.
Here are a few of my favorite things that keep me going:
1. Making a list makes me happy and keeps me going.
I love lists. I get more done when I make a list. What I need to do gets transferred to a piece of paper, and miraculously they all get checked off and completed. Everything works in theory, but writing down the steps to making something happen, puts my thoughts into action. Once done and dusted, I tear up the list and make up a new one.
2. Mindfulness makes me happy and keeps me going.
I think about what I'm doing and how that contributes to a vision of a life worth living. Thinking about what matters most is being mindful of what I am doing right now. Otherwise, my life is busy work and fills time but isn't fulfilling. My physical practice of Qi Gong and running helps me be present and mindful of my body and spirit. It loosens up my thoughts as well as my joints, keeping me flexible and healthy. It shifts my restlessness with the quarantine from "will this ever end" to "practice what's possible now."
3. Keeping commitments makes me happy and keeps me going.
I can still make commitments even when life is weird and unrecognizable. Time is not inside my control. It clicks by whether I do anything or not. I don't manage time; I manage my commitments. My commitments are what I say yes to, with other people and also to myself. Promises kept build trust in your word. When you say you'll do something, do it. It's a simple truth, what you say matters—be your word whether the answer is yes, I will or no, I won't.
4. Telling the truth with love makes me happy and keeps me going.
I got to thinking that if we considered every word as our last words to a family member, colleague, or friend, how would that reshape what we said? Would I be more mindful of the impact of my words? Would I consider if my words move things forward before I speak? Are they words of love and connection or judgment and separation? How can I be more thoughtful and authentic with my words? When I tell the truth with love, I don't have to take any words back.
5. Weeding makes me happy and keeps me going.
Planting seeds and watching them grow on a sunny windowsill or in a garden bed is life-affirming. Watching the seasonal changes with flowers bursting on the scene reminds me that the cycles of life continue regardless of our interference. And I also notice that the weeds grow along with the flowers and vegetables! What do you want to plant that you can nurture? I remind myself that I plant thoughts as well as vegetables and herbs. I water and weed and watch. Weeding teaches me patience.
What are you doing that keeps you going? I hear from people almost every day about what keeps them going, like making a daily loaf of sourdough bread. I also hear about getting comfortable with working remotely, or spending time with family instead of commuting, or engaging with creating a world that works for everyone and using the time to create a new vision of a life worth living.
What keeps you going? I look forward to hearing from you.
May your day be peaceful and productive.
Paulette Sun Davis