Now that Christmas is over, I’m beginning to take action on my to do list. There’s a lot going on in this ministerial student/Practitioner/Spiritual Director of a Teaching Chapter’s world!
You ever have a to do list that is a bit overwhelming? You ever get stuck because your to do list is so big you don’t think you’ll ever get it done, so you get stuck? I don’t think I’m the only one. But I do know that when I break the list down into smaller pieces and just do what is in front of me to do, things seem to get done quickly, efficiently and easily. So what I’m going to do in this blog is present to you my to do list, and then tell you how I’m going to get it all done. I’ve got ulterior motives of course. Those of you who know me know that I love multitasking, and if I can help you with your to do list while also publicizing everything I’ve got going on over here, so much the better! So just know, there’s gonna be some PR language in this post, but there will also be some practical things to help you accomplish what’s on your list.
Ok, here’s my list:
Finish preparing new web site now that Teaching Chapter is formally approved. This is a big deal guys. A Teaching Chapter! What it means to you is a once weekly gathering for profound discussion and meditation. The first gathering is scheduled for Monday, January 2 from 5 to 7 pm. This will be an ongoing group facilitated on a love offering basis. The topics for discussion for the next few months will be based on the book “Living Deeply, the Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday life.” You will be able to purchase a book from me ($15), or from www.amazon.com. Paperback is $11.53 plus shipping, e-reader is $10.38. Our discussions will be held at Lake Tahoe Spiritual Living Center at 3665 Tamarack in South Lake Tahoe (it’s off of Ski Run Blvd.) This is also one of those ongoing things. The Teaching Chapter will always be here, I’ll always be doing something in connection with it, so Teaching Chapter stuff will always be on my to do list.
If you’ve got something ongoing like this, break it down into separate tasks. You’ll see another entry further on in this blog that has to do with the Teaching Chapter. Usually ongoing stuff has many different tasks, don’t put them all in one item on the list, or if you do, itemize them in sections. The key is to break things down into smaller manageable parts.
Write a talk. Another big deal. Since I’m giving this talk at the Sunday service at the Center for Spiritual Living in Carson City on New Year’s Day, this item needs to be done first. I’ve already got a few ideas, but now I need to put them on paper and do some research and get a few quotes. I’m a good speaker guys! If you are anywhere close to Carson City at 10 am on New Year’s Day, come on by! This talk will be inspirational and uplifting, designed to not only allow you to begin your new year right, but to keep up the momentum. If you’ve got a problem keeping your New Year’s Resolutions, you might want to check this out.
Prepare for a life transition ceremony on Wednesday. Yep, that’s in two days. Actually, I’ve already got most of the work done on this one. What’s a life transition you ask? Well, there are the biggies: death, marriage and birth. But there’s also moving, getting a new job, coming of age, divorce (or loss of any kind), any of the big changes in life qualify for status as life transition, and there are rituals and ceremonies that can be done to help with the transition. Turns out I’m pretty good at this too…who knew? (don’t take my word for this…I’m basing this on feedback I’ve received from folks for whom I have performed these services) In addition to weddings, I’ve also done Celebrations of Life and house blessings. This particular ceremony will be for a lady with dementia and her daughter. It is to help the lady with dementia let go and move into her final transition (as she is showing signs of doing so anyway) and for the daughter, who is her primary care giver. It will be a moving ceremony and I’m honored that I was asked to do it. If you have any transitions coming up, please consider me for the job and please pass the word!
Marketing for the new Teaching Chapter. I’m already doing quite a bit in this area, but the Teaching Chapter will be called Center for Spiritual Living Lake Tahoe (CSLLT) instead of Lake Tahoe Spiritual Living Center, and once the new web site is completed I will need to start spreading the word about the…ahem….transition. And yes, I’ve already done my own little transition ceremony for this one, it was very nice! Included in this list is to explore Constant Contact and see if it will work for us. I also need to send out a newsletter to people on the current mailing list, as I have a new package of private coaching sessions to tell them about, in addition to the news about the Teaching Chapter and the Monday night group. By the way, if you are interested in private coaching, contact me for details about the package!
Prepare for new quarter of studies, which begins next week. I’ve already accomplished a lot of this list: I’ve registered and ordered and received my books, but I need to make hotel reservations for the classes I will be taking in Santa Rosa, and make arrangements for dog sitting, plus download and transfer my lectures to my Ipod. Then it’s time to start studying!
Take time to rest and play. This one is always on my list. I learned the hard way that if I do not take time to rest and play on a regular basis I lose stuff, mostly my mind, but I also lose efficiency and relationships get strained because I’m a grouch. I’m pretty good at taking regular time off now. I’ve loved what I do for a living since 1987, and I’ve been self employed since 1987, so I’ve had some time to perfect this taking time off thing. But once in a while I still have to remind myself that it’s time to go outside and play. By the way, these two topics (doing what you love for a living and balance) are what a high percentage of my private clients contact me for. Both are possible, but usually our own limitations get in the way of this. I can and have helped quite a few people remove those limitations, so if you have something like this on you list of things to do in the New Year, contact me if you need help!
Prepare flyer and distribute it for the new discussion group beginning next week. I’ve purposely waited till after Christmas to do this one. Spreading the word about the group while people are scurrying about preparing for Christmas would have just been like spinning my wheels in the mud. Now is the time to do this.
You may have noticed that there is some prioritizing going on with my list. Prioritizing is essential. Some things can wait, some can’t. Some have to be done regularly, some only once. And while I’m pretty good at prioritizing now, it took some practice and some coaching to learn the skill. This is another thing that private clients hire me for. You can begin prioritizing your list by putting deadline dates on your items, and rearranging the list according to the dates they need to be done.
Last but not least, this item is always on my list: Do spiritual practices. I don’t care what is on the list, or how long or short it is, it’s still a list of outside stuff, and when it comes right down to it, all that outside stuff will not get done unless you first do the inside stuff. Nothing, absolutely nothing, happens in the outside world until and unless the insides are properly nourished and cared for. Working from the outside in does not work. It’s more spinning of wheels. In fact, if you are a long time reader of this blog you’ve heard me say this before, “if you don’t go within you’ll go without.” The inside work HAS to be done. Our outside world is a direct manifestation of what is going on inside, and if you have thoughts or beliefs which are negative or limiting, that’s what you will experience in the outside world. All of my private client work, all of my workshops, all of my classes, all of my discussion groups, are based on this one simple thing, and all of them are designed to help you do the inside stuff that needs to be done in order to accomplish that which is on your list of things to do. This is where spiritual practices comes in. I’m not talking about praying here folks, although some people do include this in their spiritual practices. I’m talking about connection, and the knowingness that comes from being connected. I’m talking about inner personal experiences that come from a connection to something that is profound and undefinable. And spiritual practices will establish and maintain that connection. For me, my spiritual practices are meditation and quiet time. Others read daily meditation books, some journal, some walk. There are many different forms of spiritual practice. The key is to realize that if you are doing at the expense of being, you will eventually cease to be happy or effective at what you are doing. You must BE first.
I could go on and on about spiritual practices, but the fact is I’m approaching 2000 words here and that’s already too long for a blog post, but oh well, it’s gonna have to be ok this time. Plus I’ve written about spiritual practices many times, do a search on spiritual practices on this blog and you’ll find a series of separate blog posts, one for each practice, that will detail each one. This is also something that I teach privately.
My wish to you is that you are BEING, happily and peacefully, and that your beingness shows up in to do lists that get done!