After I came home from California last month with my head full of the 12 permaculture principles and the 20 things I remembered while I was away, I read a list somewhere of 9 ways to live a great life. It was a compelling enough list that I wanted to remember the 9 things and try to incorporate them into my every day practice. I envisioned myself creating a journal and pasting the permaculture principles and my 20 things and this 9-point list into the front of it and reading all three lists each morning. But, I didn’t paste them into a journal. I don’t think I even read the list of 9 things more than once. And now, several weeks later, I cannot find the list nor can I remember where I read it! I’ve scoured my email inbox (I did not Star it in Gmail) and my Facebook Wall (I did not post it to share with my friends) and all the blogs I follow, and I absolutely cannot find the list. I cannot even remember if it was written by a woman or a man; there is no energy signature attached to the memory. It is very strange. All I remember is that I wanted to save it and read it every day and that I was impressed that it was a 9-point list, rather than a 10-point list, as this concision somehow added to its astuteness.
I let this memory-lapse really annoy me for about a day; then I decided that rather than worrying about it any further, I would write my own list of 9 things. So I did.
And I was pretty happy with it. But then it occurred to me that my list was in part based on an assumption that was not clearly stated anywhere and that was unacceptable, so, even though it might mean my list is slightly less awesome than the now-lost-to-me-forever 9-point list that someone else wrote, I added a 10th thing so I could include that assumption.
I do not claim that any of the things on this list are original to me. In fact, I am fairly certain this list is just a compilation of the best things I’ve heard or, more likely, read. I will refrain from expounding on each point. Other writers have already elucidated these points beautifully, so I will point you to them and let that suffice – with one exception. This entire blog is about learning how to do number 10 on the list, so more on that will definitely follow.
So here it is. I hope it speaks to you. Please let me know your thoughts, edits, or additions in the comments!
Nine Ten Things to Remember to Live an Awesome Life:
1. You are not a body with a spirit. You are a spirit with a body.
2. You came to this planet – at this time, and this place, in this body, with this family – to learn how to love. (Yes, think Richard Bach here. Even better, think William McDonough’s Prime Directive: How do we love all the children, of all the species, for all time? Make answering that your life’s work and you will definitely live your most awesome life.)
3. All that is required of you in this lifetime is to be fully present with an open heart. You were born in this state, but it may take you all of your adult life to re-learn how to sustain it.
4. In order to maximize the opportunity you have been given to live, take care of your physical body daily. Eat real food, rest, sleep, MOVE!, laugh, and enjoy the company of other beings.
5. Happiness is essential to your own well-being and evolution, as well as to that of the planet’s. If you are not absolutely, 100% convinced that this is true, please visit Dreamsmith and download and read Kelly Wagner’s free ebook, A Quantum Leap: the Dreamsmith guide to creating a life you love. (Kelly includes her own list of 7 Daily Practices for Creating a Life You Love in this, too!)
6. Cultivate gratitude in your life in order to optimize your own happiness and effectiveness as well as the happiness and effectiveness of those with whom you interact.
7. Say “no” only if it leads to a more expansive “Yes!” This is slightly different wording than Samantha uses, but I think it clearly states my current thinking. Please take a moment now to visit Samantha Sweetwater’s blog and read her excellent post on this.
8. Do not waste energy comparing yourself to others. If shorthand helps, try, “Keep your eyes on your own paper” or “Stay on your own yoga mat.”
9. Live the life that only you can live.
10. Grow into the light.