Friday, February 8, 2013

Live Your Life in Chapters

I seem to have quite a collection on my shelves of day-by-day books. One is Irene and Alan Taylor's The Assassin's Cloak which is an anthology of diary entries from different people written in different years but for the same day. Another one, Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach, provides a year full of daily suggestions on ways to add comfort and joy to your life. A shorter one is Thirty Days to a Simpler Life by Connie Cox and Chris Evatt with tasks laid out that can be done in an hour or so and leave you with a serene, uncluttered home and life. 

Another book along these same lines is Creating a Charmed Life by Victoria Moran. Although not a 'daily' read, nevertheless there are 75 entries ranging from "Enjoy Your Eccentricities" (of which I have many) to "Call a Truce with the Clock" to "Drink Good Coffee, Eat Good Food."

One entry, Number 16, is titled "Live Your Life in Chapters" which seemed appropriate for a book journal post. Ms. Moran suggests that if we believe the notion that 'everything has to be done today' nothing gets done. And in our frenzy of running around trying to accomplish our dreams all at once, all we are left with are frantic feelings.

Instead, she advises, think of your life in chapters - like a long novel - and focus on one chapter at a time. This way you can devote attention to just this time of your life. So you may be in your college student chapter, or first job chapter, or children-and-family chapter, or retirement chapter.

By living in your chapter, you are not expecting to have it all right now. You pay attention to what your life is now and don't need to  worry about times past or yet to come.

In conclusion, she writes:

Decide what chapters you want in your life story. Accept that fate may insert a few others. Give yourself without reservation to the chapter you are on. Trust that living this chapter fully will prepare you for what will next unfold. Don't worry that a choice like putting off college to volunteer overseas or taking time to be with your children is foolhardy. Such an experience will make you richer as a person and more valuable to the world. It could also be the finest chapter in your biography.

I seem to be in my writing, reading, online book journaling, yoga-ing, watercoloring, traveling chapter. It is titled "Staying Engaged with My Creative Life."

How about you? What chapter are you focused on right now? What is its title?

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