January 6, 2010

My Big, Audacious Goal

About four years ago I wrote a review on Amazon for a book that, it seemed to me, was being purposely and systematically trashed in its reviews -- as though a group of people had gotten together and made a plan to do this. This was happening to two books by the same author, within the same very tiny time frame. In my review, I pointed this out and suggested that readers give the books a chance and make up their own minds.

This morning, long after I'd forgotten about this review, I received a comment from someone named "Amazed," which stated in part, "I don't really think they want to keep others down, they have usually bought their uninspired view at a high cost, and they want to know that this 'reality' that they have bought is valuable..."

I found this to be a most compassionate response (and I said so in reply), and it got me wondering what in my life am I valuing inappropriately? I have spent great time, thought and effort in recent years letting go of things, items that clutter my home that keep me tied down. I had come to the conclusion a while back that overvaluing things made me their prisoner -- in financial as well as emotional terms, to say nothing of just plain overwhelming clutter. As William Morris suggests, I strive to keep only those things around me that I find to be beautiful or useful. (Not some-day useful, but in-the-moment useful.) I have a long way to go, but I've come a long way too, and I feel a great deal of spaciousness in my life as a result. When I look around my home, I love what I see. My home is comfortable and beautiful to me, and it functions very well for me. And yet I own very little that I would grieve over if I lost it.

Amazed's comments got me to thinking -- what about my inner life? What ideas, opinions, thoughts and beliefs am I clinging to, not because they work for me but because I am so deeply invested in them that I am defending them inappropriately? Am I living my life in ways that once kept me safe but now keep me imprisoned? Have I formed opinions about situations, people or ideas that are no longer relevant? Have I developed prejudices that keep me separated from people? Have I surrounded myself with safe and beautiful walls that keep me from seeing what is beyond them?

Kimberly Wiefling, an inspirational guru who has build an unlikely and exciting life for herself using the tools she teaches, sends me her newsletter every so often. The latest talks about making "big, audacious goals." I liked the sound of that, so I made a few for myself for this coming year. They include things like losing weight and finding a terrific new job.

After reading Amazed's comments, I realize that what I wrote was not a list of audacious goals -- it was a to-do list, and a very doable one at that. Now, I'm thinking I'd rather have a list that frightens me just a little. Maybe a lot. So, here's my new big, audacious goal. I just made it up this morning, so I'm reserving the right to tweak it as I go.

Beginning right now, I resolve to examine every Belief, Opinion, Thought and Idea that I have, to determine if it is one I choose to keep, and if not to jettison it, even if I don't have anything to replace it with right away. I will search my life and my actions, and ask myself, "What invisible belief makes me think/do/say/want that?" I will dig down to the bedrock of who I am, and thoroughly clean house -- and I will keep only those beliefs that I find to be beautiful or useful to me. Rather than form an image of what I want my life to look like and then strive to create that image, I will build a new, solid, relevant foundation from the rubble of my examined beliefs, and see what life manifests. As of this moment, I am leaping off the cliff, empty-handed.

Thank you, Amazed. I'll let you know what's at the bottom.

1 comment:

ExJW33 said...

I got a lot out of what you wrote in response to that insightful comment....we're all paying it forward without our even knowing it. Much success on your journey.