These last couple of years have been an experiment in prioritizing the things that I love to do --- really focusing on the things that fuel me as an artist and a person in this world. I’m a little obsessed with the question of what would happen if everyone pushed themselves to do whatever gave them the most joy. What would happened if we put our hearts on our to-do list?
I don’t mean erasing the things that we all have to do, but instead grounding our choices in our heart so that we look very critically at where we are putting our energy and make adjustments when we are wasting energy on thoughts and actions that do not serve us. For instance, I know that I can waste too much time on video clips, in comparing myself to others on social media, or in procrastinating doing the things that I don’t want to do. Being more efficient in where I choose to put my energy, makes it easier to to the things that I really and truly want to do.
I have heard from many wise people that if there is something that you are aching to do, find a way to do it. It does not matter how small the start, just put that dream on your to-do list.
That might mean, you make a note in your phone, record a voice memo of that idea, start a journal devoted to your dream project, or make a mind map (one of my favorites). Don’t be afraid to just say or write it. It has to start somewhere, and keeping it in your heart prevents action. So, put it on your list!
Here are some ideas that are nagging at me to be added to the list. I feel afraid to even say them. So, I will write them here for my first step:
Okay, now you can hold me accountable for taking action on these ideas. I think my next step is to make some mind maps brainstorming possibilities. Maybe after writing about them, I can create a more focused action plan--lots more list making! Your heart’s desire can be small things - like: hosting movie nights, wearing red shoes more often, learning origami, writing snail mail, or starting a book club. There are infinite ways to put our hearts into the world that simultaneously enrich it and feed our souls.
Listen, we owe it to ourselves and to the world to keep excavating our heart’s desires and putting them out there. After all, that is why we are here.
Anna Lentz, artist, writer, and creativity coach who blogs about making a creative life connected with nature at Spring Bird.