A Good Life

by Leslie Sann

“Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.”
~ Socrates

It has been said, many times, many ways before, (oops … that is from the song “The Christmas Song” and … ) creativity happens one step at a time. And I say, when we are in the middle of it we often cannot see what is unfolding.

I often wrestle with mind monsters yelling at me that I am lazy. They yell at me “you’re losing focus, you’re drifting, you didn’t get anything done today”. I look at my list and see I accomplished quite a lot.

Sometimes it is true. I didn’t accomplish much. And when I look more deeply I discover my not doing was the exact thing that needed to occur. Because, for me, it is in the emptiness, the space created, that new creativity can arise to be shaped into next action.

We are lured into believing life unfolds in a straight line. We watch movies and it portrays action unfolding from a beginning, into a middle that leads to a clear finish. The movies used to let us know they were over by showing us a screen that said: The End.

A movie will show us an achievement of a lifetime in less than two hours. And we understandably, although erroneously, begin to measure ourselves against standards that are unreal.

Stories, be they in the movies, a book, or an e-zine, only reveal a portion of the multidimensional very complex reality we all live in. If we compare ourselves to what we told ourselves is true, and measure our reality with that internalized image, we will be despairing for we will fall short. Reality cannot be portrayed in the media.

One of my clients recently was care-giving her mother after major surgery. She was telling me about all the things that went other than planned. Including her temperament. There were a few moments she was less than her lovely self. She strung those moments together and came to the conclusion that she had done a terrible job.

Au contraire I declared. From my point of view, what she had pulled off, was no less than phenomenal. And then my point of view, or my viewing point was different from hers. Am I right and she is not? Of course not. We can only see a portion of reality. She was looking at those moments of disturbance. I was seeing from a broader perspective all the many parts she wove together to care for her mom under stressful conditions. To me she was a saint. I encouraged her to look through my eyes.

The last weeks of December, as is my habit, a routine I created decades ago, I document what’s present in my life as in my current reality. In doing so, I notice what I’ve accomplished. It can be quite heartening. During the year, as everything is happening, the mind monsters are noisy. I cannot see what is actually unfolding.

I also create a document with my heartfelt intentions for the coming year capturing what it is I would like to create this coming year.

I take this document, and put it into a special place for me to open at this time next year. At year end I reflect on life’s movement as it actually occurred throughout the year.

This year I put a note in my box celebrating the launch of the Living by Design School. The intention of the school is to support conscious living, being present to this gift of life, while creating a life we love. Creating a life is an art. Art is fed and supported by practice. We will be learning the art and practice of living by design.

Throughout the Living a Good Life program you will be introduced to practices, routines, habits that will serve you in growing your life by design, becoming more of who you want to be, while creating a life you love.

Greek philosophers called this, living a good life.

Blessings and Joy,