I could think of no better way to start off a new year of working towards creating our authentic lives than by reposting this offering from March of last year. It asks us to get real with what we want our lives to look like and how we want to live them. Revisiting the same writing assignment should also prove interesting if for no other reason than to see if we will answer them differently than we did now that we have gone through the rest of the year!
The inspiration for creating an authentic life can come from anywhere, anytime. It may be a life-long dream that can no longer be ignored. It could be a book or workshop that leaves a spark. Or, it could be a significant event, or series of events, that turns your world upside down and sets you back down heading in a completely different direction.
One story of just such a series of events comes from best-selling author, meditation teacher, and all around Great Dude (I add that last one because we both hail from the same hometown, Queens, New York), Davidji. Prior to his personal and spiritual transformation, Davidji, known then as David Greenspan, worked high up on the corporate ladder on Wall Street. He had dabbled in meditation and Eastern spiritual studies in the past, but had not found a way to quell that still, small voice inside that told him he was traveling on the wrong path even though to all outward appearances he was the poster boy for success. Then came 9/11. Afterwards, as he was walking down the dusty, grief-filled streets of Manhattan, the hand of a man cowering inside a cardboard box reached out and grabbed his pant leg. The man looked up into Davidji’s face and asked: “What will they write on YOUR tombstone?” Needless to say, Davidji took up the challenge to answer that question, for which I am personally immensely grateful.
I was moved beyond words when I heard him tell that story for the first time. I thought of it again last week when I was reading the newsletter from Robert Holden, Ph.D., about finding your passion from which I took last week’s assignment. Another item on Robert’s list is this one: “What would you like the greatest accomplishment of your life to be?” It’s a slightly different take on Davidji’s challenge, but if you think about it, they go hand-in-hand. If we define accomplishment as something we achieve, like wealth, stardom, making the best-seller list, or finding Mr. Perfect, that doesn’t say anything to those that come after us about what kind of person we were, or why our presence on this earth mattered. It just tells them what we acquired. Personally, I think that the greatest accomplishments of our lives should be those things that have made a difference in the world, and changed it for the better. I think that when we change people’s lives in ways that allow them to bloom, we turn the whole world into a garden of love and possibility. I can’t think of a better way to live in authenticity, can you?
This week for our writing assignment on the Home Page, I’d like you to think about those two questions and how they might go hand-in-hand for you. Let your imagination, and you dreams, soar! As always, have fun with it, and remember to always keep writing!