I recently bought a new book, The Life Organizer: A Woman's Guide to a Mindful Year, by Jennifer Louden, and I'm enjoying it so much. Sunday nights are my usual time to make notes for the coming week, my to-do list, appointments, grocery list, and all the stuff of daily life. However, this book gives me questions to help plan my days, and tips for creating the life I want.
A long time ago I read a quote:
"Do you control your life or does your life control you?"
I'm not sure who penned those words, but I remember sensing that I was allowing life to control me. That changed me a lot.
This morning I was reading some of the first part of my new book that I skipped over earlier which explains how to use the Life Organizer and the word Story caught my eye. If you've read my blog posts here over the recent months, I am all about Story. That's why I scrapbook; that's why I write.
"The questions you ask shape the story you live," writes the author. "What Story Do You Want to Live?" she asks.
At the start of my week, or month, or day, I read the questions in the book, and my answers shape my story.
The questions last week that I copied into my notebook asked:
"What am I most passionate about this week?"
"What or who do I want to say Yes to?
"What touch or texture, or physical contact, would nourish and calm me?"
"What might shift if I used the interruptionns of my life this week to remind me to be grateful and to come into the present moment?" (Anyone familiar with "interruptions" in your daily life and hate them as much as I do?)
I've used planners nearly my whole adult life, but I've never planned my time around such questions. It makes a difference. The book also gives me lists to use, like what I want to let go of, and what do I have to do, and what could I do. This makes more sense to me than the Covey planner I use where I asssign A, B, C and 1, 2, 3 to my tasks. I still use my awesome little leather Franklin Covey planner, but now I use the questions to guide my week and month and include more of the things I could do if I planned my time better.
I started meditating this morning on how we go about our daily lives and more or less react to what is going on around us without a thought to what "might" be possible if we were more mindful. If we saw ourselves as writing our story more, we could include a lot of more valuable time to make dreams come true
When my children were young, that concept would have never occurred to me. I wish it had. I wish I'd read this book then. I might have included more than just going to work and coming home and performing all the tasks of running a household. I think of the time I wasted on an everyday basis. I complained a lot about not having time to...
Fill in the blanks.
I wasn't scrapbooking then, so that makes a difference. When you are aware of the life you live, and the lives of your family, you are open to your surroundings. You see the little things that most people never notice. Life is so different now. A lot of it is age of course, but not all. I've been saying for the last ten years that scrapbooking and making family albums changed my life. I know my ancestors' history now, so I have more of a sense of roots. I'm able to open one of my albums now, when the need arises, and gaze down at my children as babies and curious, lively little tots and gain a true sense of wonder.
Nature inspires me now in a way it never did. I appreciate life in a whole new way. I just love walking around with my camera and capturing it all.