Monday, July 4, 2011

Ralph Waldo Emerson #3: The goodies and the badies

Hello there! :o)
Last week was the last week of Trust30, but not the last one in our Sunday series of exploring the principles of Mr. Emerson.
Apparently, they decided to keep the project going even after these thirty days because people liked it so much. But I think these four weeks gave me more than enough food for thought. If I'm overloaded with ideas and questions, I tend to just brush them away because it feels like too much for my mind. So I'd rather go back to the exercises I already received.

Buuut: In last week's fabulous birthday package, Sabrina also sent me a book by one of Emerson's followers:

Thoreau writes about his experiences of living all by himself in nature for more than two years, trying to find an alternative and balanced lifestyle in the quickly growing and changing society of the US in the 1840's.
That will be a tough read and a lot to think about – and maybe worth a blog post or two, we'll see.

But now to last week's prompts!

Some of them were really nice and interesting. I like exercises where you can let your imagination go wild, like this one:

„If a year from now you weren’t in the profession you’re currently in, what would you be in your wildest dreams?“

I came up with a loong list of possible answers. Here's some of them:

  • Circus dancer
  • Busker
  • Organic farmer
  • Kid's therapist
  • Painter
  • Journalist
  • Truck driver
  • Sheperd

What wild dreams do you have about professions? I was tempted to write 'Illustrator', but that's a wild dream I'm already dreaming, so I felt like that doesn't count. ;o)

Another one that I really, really liked asked you to think about the type of perso you’d NEVER want to be 5 years from now.

„Write out your own personal recipe to prevent this from happening and commit to following it.“

That is hard to describe in words, but I'll try. Here's a list of things that I don't want to be:

  • desillusioned
  • bitter
  • boring
  • unhealthy
  • bored
  • depressed

And how do I assure preventing this from happening?

  • Illusions against desillusion: I'll keep on dreaming and make it a habit to believe up to six impossible things before breakfast.
  • Sweetness against bitterness: I will keep on looking for the beautiful things in life, savouring every moment of joy that I can and looking forward rather than back.
  • Caring to stay healthy. I will continue to learn to listen to my body and mind and undersatand its needs so I can nourish myself with things that make me strong and healthy.
  • To make sure I don't get bored, I commit to keep learning new things and discover the treasures of this world.
  • All of the above should be pretty much the best insurance against depression. Fingers crossed! ;o)

Did you notice I left out „boring“ in the second list? When I thought about it it occured to me that it is beyond my control. Because „boring“ or „not boring“ is something people say about you or that you say about yourself with a picture in mind of people that you find exciting. But to me, this sounds very much like something that will make me chase after an illusion of myself that is better than what I am and not me. So instead I'd rather commit to try and eliminate my need to please other people or myself by trying to be someone that I made up instead of just myself.

Then, there were also some emails that I did not like so much.

„Think of all the things that are not working in your life. That job you don’t like, that relationship that’s not working, those friends that annoy you. Now turn them all on you. Imagine that everything that’s not working in your life, is your fault. How would you approach it? What would you work on to change your life to the state that you want it to be?“

I think this outlook on things is a bit problematic. I am blaming myself enough for things that happen in my life even when they are beyond my reach. I agree that I do have the power to change a lot of things, but sometimes you just can't do anything. Trying to change yourself in order to fix friendships or other things that don't work in your life is tricky. You might find that suddenly these things are ok but you feel terrible because you are not being yourself anymore.

And one prompt wanted you to imagine your future self, ie, you 10 years from now and write down if he/she were to send you a tweet or text message, 1) what would it say and 2) how would that transform your life or change something you’re doing, thinking, believing or saying today?

I don't know but I think I just had an overdose of those 'your future you telling you what to do' during my studies. My future is so flexible and really not planned to the long term. How could I ever know what I will think in ten years about the time I'm in now? Well of course there's tendencies, but frankly, I just think it's a bit boring... I'd rather think about how I feel about my life now as my present self.

I saved my two most favourite and fun prompts for their own blogposts in order to not make this too long. So there will be more Sunday thoughtfulness next week! ;o)

If you liked the little snippets of thoughtfulness, why don't you sign up for the project yourself and you will receive a daily email with a little prompt to explore yourself and your thoughts.

I'll see you here later for a really cute Monday Friend!

Thanks for reading!


Cindy said...

I love it that you did this challenge, Yaga and it's even cooler that they extended it! It sounds like a LOT to think about and it's a lot of questioning what you think and know about yourself.

Definitely constructive, imo. lol. :)

and I don't think you'll ever be boring even though the application of boring is kind of weird xD just do all the other things on that list hahaha! :D

Cindy said...

Btw I like the idea of being an organic farmer lol :)

Elisa said...

Well maybe we should make a read- along because this book Walden is still sitting in my shelf, bought some years ago in a book sale and although we heard about it in the 11th grade in high school, I have not read it yet.

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