Saturday, May 3, 2008

living, growing, being

"One must still have chaos in oneself to be able to give birth to a dancing star."
- Nietzsche

Sometimes I wonder why I complicate my life. My life could be so much simpler. But I think my self-imposed overbooking and overscheduling reflects a certain unrest, a desire for more -- a richer, more fulfilled experience; taking in all that life has to offer.

People do it all the time... whether it's pushing oneself to run 26.2 miles at a marathon, reaching the summit of a mountain, or diving to the depths of the sea. Or on a different level, going back to school.

The concept of "more", I think, is so much a part of being human... which does not necessarily mean a lack of contentment or a desire for more materially. It's about the need for self-actualization, a term coined by Abraham Maslow:

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This is the need we may call self-actualization...It refers to man's desire for fulfillment, namely to the tendency for him to become actually in what he is potentially: to become everything that one is capable of becoming."

Maslow says there are two processes necessary for self-actualization: self-exploration and action. The action is the harder part.

Which is probably why I love to-do lists. After thinking about what I want, I write everything down, and I love being able to check items on my list, one at a time. It's part of holding myself accountable, using pen and paper as my witnesses.

We're almost halfway into the year, and I'm s-l-o-w-l-y putting check marks on my list:

  • display photography at an art show: check
  • plant herbs and tomatoes: check
  • write and submit a research proposal (in progress)
  • travel to a new place this summer
  • present at a research conference? (gulp.)
  • worry less. (a constant work in progress)

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Kim said...

Thank you for the inspiration and affirmation Mia!!! I am gradually learning my musts... poet, photographer, and a new one... retreat offerer. Most of my herbs have re-seeded themselves! I only need rosemary. I have some extra cilantro if you'd like some.

4:20 said...

heres my little list :)
1. get more ink: In progress
2. learn to swim : heheh
3. Tattoo a real person : in progress
4. paint again: check!

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