Shepherding in the Great Lessons from 2011 – Part 1

As I prepare for an upcoming reunion where close friends and colleagues share lessons brought from the past few months, I came to the realization that no college education could ever match the experiences I’ve been through from 2011. I’ve been reviewing my journals, the pores of my soul and the ache in my heart and have so far uncovered 23 life altering lessons that have taken meaningful form to me. Today I share a portion of that list which in no doubt will continue to grow with each passing day. If you would like to read more lessons visit Creation 17.

1) Know what and where “being fully present” is, then visit that place as often as possible. Being fully present means not only tuning out the noise of endless chatter and day to day clutter, it also means TUNING IN to our deepest desires of the heart, no matter how obscure or unpredictable they may seem. This doesn’t come easy. It takes discipline, practice and commitment, but it’s also the most rewarding, loving thing you can do for yourself. Reserve a special time each day, secure that coffee shop booth, that 30 minute commute, that lunch time walk, meet yourself, say hello, and just listen. Keep a journal and write from that fully present person every day.

2) Less seeking, more doing. As an enneagram seven, I am constantly seeking adventure, stimulation, curiosities to peak my ravenous imagination. Although many have told me they cannot comprehend how I can accomplish as much as I do everyday, I have come to realize this year that my craving for knowledge in the form of education, reading, online searching, even shopping, paralyzes my ability to actually get real creative done.

3) Every yes is a time guzzler. “Time.” That word has entered my life in so many ways, and taken on a variety of connotations. When I entertained the possibility of a music career (playing the drums in high school and later college) “keeping time” meant staying consistent with a driving force that pushed or laid back the beat according to the style of music. Keeping time was my #1 responsibility. Later when I shifted my college studies from music to art, the meaning of  “time” turned into questions like . “How much time do we have for the assignment?” “When is it due?” “What time can I meet with the professor. Now, “time,” in the words of Riff Raff from The Rocky Horror Show, has become, “fleeting” where madness takes its toll. Today, I’ve come to realize that time is my most precious treasure. I protect it more than ever before and have stopped saying “yes” unless it makes my heart take those extra few beats.

4) Distractions are an addiction. In my case this addition shields me from confronting my biggest and most frightening fears. I recognize all you sexy and alluring distractions. I adore you for always being there, but serious work must be completed and I’m lovingly placing you on the shelf.

5) Stop taking so many notes. What‘s important will be remembered. And, if by chance something important is forgotten, it will resurface again in a new, more meaningful way. It’s funny how life just works out that way.