I have often struggled with goals even if I keep them. Now I realize that it isn't the fact that I make them that is causing the struggle, it is my view of them. If I take the word, goal, and associate it with rigidity, with demands, with joyless work, then I come to view my life and plans the same way.
Instead of choosing a different word, which would be okay, too, I'd like to reclaim the word by focusing on the sound of it and how it is similar to "jewel." Jewels are precious, glimmering, and colorful, and viewing goals this way can make life precious, glimmering, colorful as well. Seeing a goal as simply an aim without any pressure, as a jewel, as something that helps make life more pleasant and fulfilling, and not as a burden, makes a difference.
Here are four of my goals for March:
*Silence: I hesitate to call this goal meditation because the only requirements are that I am seated with my eyes closed and not listening to any music or talking to anyone for about ten minutes. I set a Tibetan bell timer and rest on my zafu and zabuton. This silence rejuvenates me, even if it isn't always so peaceful and sometimes unpleasant thoughts arise. I don't plan a fixed object of meditation. I don't repeat a mantra or purposely follow my breath, or watch a candle flame. I just sit, cross-legged, eyes closed, and breathe as I normally would. When I open my eyes and stretch, I feel renewed and often have a happier perspective on my day.
*Movement: For some reason, I really don't like the feel of the words, 'exercise', 'workout,' 'physical activity,' or 'fitness' so I'm not sure how to explain what I've been doing. Feel free to come up with a different word in the comments section.
The best word I've found is movement, which I've been doing at home. I've also been going out for quick walks and observing what is around me: chickadees calling, pine trees towering over me, the wind on my face.
*Bible Study: Every other week, my husband and I have been attending a hermeneutics class and I've been praying with the scriptures. I'd love to read the scriptures more often in my personal time.
What are some of your goals? How do you feel about setting goals?
*To learn more about writing small stones visit Writing Our Way Home :)