I’m in love with this Minimalist Mantra, courtesy of Joshua Becker from Becoming Minimalist. In it, he suggests listing 4 essential things in your life, doing them first and stop doing the non-essential. Wise words.
Reading this mantra got me thinking about my 4 essential things. I’m sure they will be different from yours, but as every one of us strives for meaning in our short but important lives, I long to focus on these areas and hope this list will help me say yes to what matters and no to what doesn’t.
My 4 Essential Things
I realized this summer in the hospital that my health is a necessity, not a luxury. If you are like me, you tend to go along your merry way taking your health for granted until you have a crisis. Then everything crystallizes and you see clearly how challenging it is to make any other goals happen if you are struggling to get out of bed each day. So much of this life is out of our direct control, but doing the best I can to remain healthy is under my control. I have a renewed appreciation for daily walks, eating well, light weightlifting, meditating and other forms of self care to do my best to stay healthy enough to pursue the other essential parts of my existence.
2. Family and Friends
What is all of our striving for? At the end of the day, I want my closest relationships on this earth to be meaningful. In order for that to happen, I must be vulnerable with those I love, sharing the best parts of myself as well as the worst. Life is too short to pretend. I don’t want to be afraid of being honest and authentic. I want to jump in with both feet and to offer my top energies and resources to the people I’ve committed to. Making time for the kind of friends who encourage, support and care for me is important to me. I don’t need a ton of friends; just ones that increase my joy, give me stomach pain from belly laughing, and have proved themselves reliable. My tribe makes life more fun and also comforts when trouble comes knocking. I must invest in them and allow them to invest in me.
Writing is like breathing to me. I often don’t know how I feel about something until I put pen to paper (or start typing on my MacBook) and then I get my “aha!” moment of clarity and light. I long to say no to everything that doesn’t involve writing and yes to everything that gets me closer to my dream of signing with an agent, having a traditional book deal, increasing the speaking I’m doing on various topics, and my longest-held goal of selling a screenplay and being a part of the film industry. Focus involves turning away from the good to concentrate on the best. This is part of my 4 essential things and something I plan to zero in on.
This is a big word that covers a lot of territory. For me, it means self care first, something relatively new to me, and after this it involves caring well for others. I think I’m naturally good at this, but part of my journey of self-growth and discovery has been about setting boundaries so I can nurture more effectively without burning out or blazing with resentment and unacknowledged rage. I’m seeing encouraging progress in this area but like all self-improvement, I have more ground to cover. I’ve worked hard to reveal my soft core of compassion and unconditional love by clearing a lot of unhealthy habits out of the way, but making nurture one of my essential 4 things will help me carve out time and space for this priority.
What are your 4 essential things?