December 20, 2007

Value: Inner Harmony

I'm gathering together my list of 2008 goals and intentions, and seeing how they apply to the top 5 values I've identified. It's been an interesting process, because as I mentioned, goals that aren't tied to something significant in my life haven't offered much motivation for me in the past. I'm very interested to see how (if) applying them to specific values makes a difference. Here's the first value, and the goals I've chosen to support it:

  • Inner Harmony (being at peace with oneself): For me this means that I have met myself at a deep level (and I continue to do so) and I love who I've met. I can trust myself. I can depend on myself.
  1. Find a church I love. I belonged to a church in San Jose that was truly inspiring to me -- the Center for Spiritual Living. I loved the message, I loved the people, and I always came away feeling wonderful about life and about myself. Although it's doable for me to drive up to San Jose in time to attend their 10:45 Sunday service, and I do from time to time, I'd prefer to find a spiritual community closer to me. I'd like to build connections and friendships within my own new community. I've attended the church closer to me that represents the same denomination, and by comparison it feels quite flat -- not enough people, not enough energy... just not the same. Unfair, you bet. I'll go back a few more times, and I'll continue to look for other options.
  2. Attend church at least 12 times. This is all about "give it a chance." My intention here is that with consistency I'll develop relationships and therefore friendships and a connection to my new spiritual community, once I've identified it.
  3. Develop a daily practice. OK, this could fairly be stated "Develop another daily practice." I've had a number of them. All have sustained me for a period of time. I'm not asking myself to develop the one, true practice for life. I just remember how nourishing it is for me to feed my soul daily, and my intention is to begin again.
  4. Follow practice at least 5 times per week, every week. Yeah. Consistency. That's a good thing.
  5. Breakfast at the cliff at least 3 times per week, every week. I live next to the ocean. I mean, right next to the ocean. A previous practice has been to take a bowl of cereal and sit on the edge of the cliff and talk to the "Powers That Be." Oh, how my day is changed by that one little action! And it's the first to fall away when my day gets hectic. I'll expand this intention to allow taking my morning mug of coffee to the cliff before I leave for work, if it's going to be one of those "eat breakfast at my desk or starve" mornings. I can't swear I'll do this often enough to qualify as a daily practice, but I can't let it drop out of my life, either.
  6. Blog at least 52 times. That averages out to weekly. Hold me to this, OK? Anything I write before January 1, 2008 doesn't count. 52 times. At least.
  7. Develop morning and evening routines. The mindlessness of having these routines written down in check-off form is way more liberating than I ever could have imagined. Brush teeth. Pick up stuff and put it away. Feed the cat. Lay out tomorrow's clothes. Put work stuff by the door. Take vitamins. Make bed. Whenever I follow my checklists, my life becomes easy in small but meaningful ways. My house stays tidy. My morning stops being rushed. I arrive at work with whatever I need. I go to bed relaxed, and wake up more refreshed.
  8. Follow routines daily for at least 12 consecutive weeks. Hopefully habit will carry me on from there!
  9. Finish at least 6 really good novels. Not trashy stuff. Not inspirational "good for you" reading. I mean really good literature. I used to read voraciously. Not so much any more. I miss it. I miss getting lost in another world for a while. Any suggestions?


SeƱor Bozo said...

My only experience of living in community has been with monastic communities. My conclusion has always been that those who live there have a truly unique opportunity to focus their lives by living in a setting where all daily activities take place within and are subservient to the goal of spiritual growth. It seems to me that, living where you do, you have a similar opportunity. I envy you, and encourage you not to waste it.

PJ said...

Dear one, thank you for your comment. I agree that a community that has a common spiritual goal must be wonderful. I've lived here for almost a year, and I have yet to identify such a common goal within this community, at least one that is meaningful to me. The goals I've selected for myself under this topic are my attempt to define such a spiritual foundation for myself, and to create a structure on which to build it. I'll address this in depth in a future post.

Wish me luck!