I think this is the sixth week with this system, I also updated a google slideshow that I was using three years ago to try to replicate the school planners that helped organize homework, goals ext in elementary school (the daily planner). I keep looking for a daily planner that fits me but never find exactly what I want, so I made my own as best as I could. For some reason it felt grounding, meaning I felt like it helped me get my bearings a lot. I integrated the labeling exercise from Lovie Price into the google slideshow naming myself not as people see me per se, but with the identities that most matter to me. Everyone says don’t label people, escape from labels, and I agree about arbitrary ones that fate hands you, however, the labels that describe your soul, it is empowering to find them, name them and claim them. At least it is for me. So I kind of want to merge these goals with my daily planner goals somehow. On my daily planner I have four goals that are kind of immediate and real, but not deep or the most important, here I have the things that really matter to me, yet I am aware my system is a bit over-complicated and unclear still. I’m hoping to integrate myself with these (my long term goals) and my mid-range goals soon, but possibly not today. I realized all these habits were the “be the change you want to see in the world” so I dropped that as an individual habit.
Na Kanaka (Human Kind):
Life Time Social Goal: Treat Others with Dignity and Some Human Respect
Using: Learner Strength
Large Practice: Assertive Communication
Tiny Plan: Become grateful and use problems as a time to connect with other people.
🗹 Gratitude Challenge – “Going extremely well again, literally powering all my other goals emotionally with this now, it’s no longer hard to do.”
🗹 Look Up – “Going well, not perfect, but honestly better than last week. What helps is not being always available, if I allow everyone to interrupt me at all times I am bitter and eager to zone out, if I set limits like my dad can only chat with me Friday, my daughter has to play alone at least from 1-2PM, my husband can talk to me when he gets home, but not at his work unless it’s important-ish, then I want to honor the person during the time I made for them, I guess in a word: boundaries.”
🗹 Look In – “Going good, sometimes I worry about my daughter when I don’t need to, once this week I looked into her soul as best as I could and found she was really into what she was drawing vs being sad because her face was not smiling. “
🗹 Connect with Other Humans – “Going great, I’ve been honest with everyone I talked to and if we didn’t like each other at least all parties had the benefit of communicating honestly.”
🗹 Read books or Articles – “Article of the week is: 90 Days Facebook Free!, by Lovie Price, it’s so helpful for me, someone who had problems with internet stalking and just recently, very timidly started Facebook for the first time, doing it backwards to most people (starting when most people have quit) kind of allows me to avoid a lot of the pitfalls, but it’s still been hard drawing new boundaries and I just realized why it’s so hard is because one good friend of mine is a bully online (not to me but to others) I didn’t want to think that one of my good friends was part of the negativity that people are leaving Facebook to avoid, but it’s true. The quick solution is to stop following their feed, but I guess I had been avoiding drawing the conclusion that someone who was a major source of motivation and respect in real life, was the opposite when it came to the internet, or perhaps they have just changed over time?” The second article is “Society and Aging Women,” also by Lovie Price, it’s really beautiful in its honestly kind of like looking out onto a dessert at dusk and noticing the stars above a vast and stark ocean of sand. It’s not poetry, but that’s the way I feel after reading it. There were so many truths that I have lived with, yet never heard voiced, Lovie is braver than I am, I don’t discuss feminine topics out of both a fear to be misinterpreted as a feminist when I stand quite firmly in favor of both/all genders (I wouldn’t open an all-girls school to close the gap in poor areas, I would just open a school, if most families have brothers and fathers supporting just the women is pretending that we don’t all affect one another’s well being, some people don’t have females or males in their family, but overwhelmingly we count on each other as a whole and should work together by tearing down the idea of separateness, that’s my view anyway) but also because I grew up not identifying with females (born and always was female, but didn’t identify with them, hetero ext, married, have kids) so it almost feels like I’m not qualified to speak for a group I never emotionally claimed. Like an American of Irish heritage may or may not choose to learn about Ireland, I haven’t really learned or associated with my gender, but the world has always judged me by it and I have experienced the impact of it, therefore I suppose I am, even though I still don’t feel like it. I was reading Marcus Aurelius’ “Meditations Book 2:”
6. Go on, go on, O my soul, to affront and dishonour thyself! The time that remains to honour thyself will not be long. Short is the life of every man; and thine is almost spent; spent, not honouring thyself, but seeking thy happiness in the souls of other men. 7. Cares from without distract you: take leisure, then, to add some good thing to your knowledge; have done with vacillation, and avoid the other error. For triflers, too, are they who, by their activities, weary themselves in life, and have no settled aim to which they may direct, once and for all, their every desire and project. 8. Seldom are any found unhappy from not observing what is in the minds of others. But such as observe not well the stirrings of their own souls must of necessity be unhappy. 9. Remember always what the nature of the Universe is, what your own nature is, and how these are related—the one to the other. Remember what part your qualities are of the qualities of the whole, and that no man can prevent you from speaking and acting always in accordance with that nature of which you are a part.
And something between seeking the correct balance between productivity and rejuvenation (ie self-care or leisure) resonated with Lovie Prices’ 90 Days Facebook Free! article and Marcus Aurelius’ writings. He says “but seeking thy happiness in the souls of other men” is a waste of time, Lovie says “There is something very sad about “needing” that type of validation to feel good about oneself.” It seems to me that the same emotional process has been going on since ancient Rome and probably even before, that perhaps the market place gossip changed to Facebook gossip, yet at the deepest level it remains the same. The first time I had the feeling humans haven’t been changed significantly by technology was watching “I Love Lucy,” I didn’t like it growing up, I thought it was silly, then I saw it again after a few years of being married and it had become my marriage almost exactly. Some things were different, I married a Mexican, not a Cuban, I don’t care about fame, but I do want my husband’s attention and he ignores me for his smartphone (instead of the newspaper). I have a feeling that blaming technology for depression and discontent misses the mark, perhaps the way we fall into habits to use it is at fault. Like guns don’t kill people, people kill people with guns. Tech doesn’t kill people, not having emotional boundaries for healthy tech usage does kill people. There were so many interesting points in both of Lovie’s articles that I’m not going to be able to finish ruminating about it anytime soon but they both resonate with books. 90 Days Facebook Free! resonates with The Enoch Factor: The Sacred Art of Knowing God which is not a religious book despite the title, it’s a book about connecting in your own soul to your internal validation despite any religion, it’s spiritual, but not religious, I think Steve McSwain did an excellent job of keeping thought experiments and meditations non-religious in this book even though he is religious in his personal and professional life, I think it was a very well done and inclusive book about connecting with internal validation. Society and Aging Women resonates with The Science of Attraction: Flirting, Sex, and How to Engineer Chemistry and Love by Patrick King. I never would have read that book, but someone else bought it and left it near me and I was so surprised that it held so much information that I should have known earlier, it talks in detail about how male and female brains differ in real, scientifically tested way rather than made up ways that are not helpful, it was insightful in knowing how people act and also made me feel more connected to the opposite gender, because although there are some differences, especially in dating and romance, there are so many parallels in reality that society pretends are not there. In my opinion, knowing the differences makes it easier to see how small the differences are and feel a sense of solidarity with both genders.
🗹 Radical Acceptance – “Going well.”
🗹 See problems as opportunities. – “Getting better in as much as, I’m taking responsibility if I am rushing, instead of thinking so and so is making me rush, so using the problem of rushing myself in an unaware, frantic, checklist, type A, kind of life as the opportunity to own my decisions, slow down, is not only an opportunity to have the time to enjoy what matters and take care of the most important responsibilities first (prioritize) it is also the time for me to take direct ownership of my life emotionally and grow my proactivity, it’s a time to assume the mantle of self leadership.”
Ke Akua (Spirituality):
Life Time Goal: Live with Serenity, Proactivity
Using: Intellection Strength
Large Practice: Kaizen, Kon Mari, Minimalism
Tiny Plan: Keep decluttering.
🗹 Malama Pono – Be forthright and proactive in your life. – “Going well, I guess at some point I was told to be quiet to get along with others and my choice was just to avoid others all together, yet as I’m growing I see that all parents make mistakes and it was a mistake of my parents to have and share such a limited perspective on humanity, there are those who will listen and stand with you when you tell your truth and those who won’t, but staying quiet leads to a kind of slow death when no one knows the real you, not even you.”
🗹 Creative Endeavors: Brainstorming, Drawing, Painting, Sculpting, Writing, Architecture. – “Going fine, just taking a back seat to the kids, yet at least I’m able to do a little most days that exercises my brain and makes me feel like a human being instead of a service animal (specifically a pack mule since I wear my baby a lot).”
🗹 Create your own reality consciously. – “Going well, I have to keep challenging myself, but every week is better than the last, noticing problems and addressing them instead of complaining or blaming, for the most part.”
Ka ‘Aina (That Which Nourishes):
Life Time Goal: Perseverance
Using: Responsibility Strength
Large Practice: Permaculture Gardening, Martial Arts, Stoic Living
Tiny Plan: Teach martial arts in the non-growth season, farm in the spring and summer. Stoic Quote of the Day.
🗹 Aloha ʻĀina – “Teaching is getting more rewarding, my daughter can read “play” that for some reason is much more rewarding than her learning to read and write the letters, not sure how to put words to that feeling yet. It’s a small moment where I had what feels like a large impact on someone. If I didn’t do it someone else would have, but that feeling of teaching someone to read is so powerful for some reason. Maybe because I love words, there is a hidden power to words beyond just identifying items and feelings, words have the power to shape the items and feelings as well, to create concepts that wouldn’t otherwise exist, yet are real in non-physical, yet quantifiable ways.”
Lōkahi (Harmony/Life Balance):
Life Time Goal: Resilience
Using: Resolver Strength
Large Practice: Self Leadership
Tiny Plan: Keep working with this Life Improvement System
🗹 Seek and Discuss Healing, Reunite that Which has Been Broken into Unity, and Awareness (in Short, to Renew) – “Going well instead of phrasing this goal to teach others I shifted it as it should be to teach myself and now it feels honest and in harmony with where I am and what I can and want to do.”
🗹 Set Weekly Goals – “Still trying to clarify, hacking away at the excess, while trying not to cut out the part that is working to improve my life, because thankfully the system is working and life is getting more peaceful and beautiful (or at least I am able to see the beauty since I’m at peace).”
🗹 Cleaning – “Going wonderful, grateful to have a very small house, that makes it easier.”
☐ Money: Keep Careful Track of Your Income and Expenses. – “Better than ever, yet still not careful.”
The New System First Week Review:
14 Points of 15 Points = 93% this week, that feels right, I wanted not to get a good score, but to have a metric for success that matched my feeling that I was either being the best I could reasonably be for who I really am right now or getting distracted and forgetting the changes that I felt and said I wanted to make. This may seem excessive, but it’s been really helpful as an exercise in meta-thinking, to have something I can use to see the way that I think about life and identify sources of discontent and help me rebalance my life as needed. I would recommend this kind of process to anyone who feels overwhelmed, instead of something that makes life more overwhelming it has definitely been worth the time it takes, because it’s one more thing to do, but it helps eliminate so many unnecessary things that it saves time in the end.
Thank you, readers! You honor me by taking the time to share the journey with me and thank you for your help learning new good habits and accepting my failures along the way! A special thanks to Lovie Price for your rare honesty and inspiring consistency, it’s been a pleasure reading your work! 🌻