As I’ve gone on my personal journey the last few months, I’ve learned a lot about forgiveness, the pursuit of my own authenticity, and the purpose behind my bullet journal endeavors (hint, it’s not getting more done). My latest lesson is that I want to make sure I keep up my sense of curiosity and passion about the world – outside of my work and other responsibilities. And now I have a collection that will help me out with that.
KEEPING A HEART LIST
Part of what I’ve learned the last few months is perhaps something you can also relate to: that we’ve invested so much of ourselves into others or into the routines of work and other responsibilities that we have lost our own energy and desire about things we were once interested in, or limited possibilities of what we could be interested in.
I’m not very old – and all my life I’ve been told the messages of productivity and efficiency. Get things done! Is that worth your time? Is it worth your money? Don’t waste your time with that! How are you making progress on your goals? … It’s all a bit exhausting, being on that hamster wheel. The byproduct of those messages is that I ended up limiting myself under the guise of productivity.
Here’s what I mean. An interesting event comes up on Facebook, or on a flier somewhere – it seems really cool but I won’t go. Why? Well, there are so many reasons you might also connect with – there might be a drive involved, a small cover fee, you’re unsure who would go with you, you’re not sure what’ll happen there…. so is it “worth it”? If my frame of “value” means productivity or effectiveness, often that answer is no. I could be grading, I could be going to a restaurant I’m guaranteed to like, do my usual thing with friends I know I like. Because that’s guaranteed to be “worth it.”
But what I’ve realized are the costs – losing my curiosity, wondering what it is I’m interested in, the possibility of new hobbies, interests, knowledge, stories, and experiences.
There were so many things I was curious about and knew random shit about when I was younger – I knew a lot about rocks, outer space, the making of Lord of the Rings, boybands, a cappella music, website coding…. and where did that go? In the midst of gathering “useful” and practical knowledge, those things get lost because they aren’t deemed as important or valuable.
But only if our definition includes efficiency and production. What if our definition was about experience, maximizing our life and hearts and not just our to-do lists?
I teach from Peter Block’s book called Community: The Structure of Belonging (2008), and he talks about changing the ways we gather. To focus on connection before content, and flip the focus of our interactions. Would a meeting be valuable if the only outcome was deepening our relationships? Eventually we get to task, because those are important, but what if connection was just as important?
So in that spirit, I made a Heart List. This is a collection that features things I want to revisit, reignite, explore, discover, and try – for no other reason than because I WANT TO. No need for quantitative value – just heart value.
What do you think? Am I crazy? What are some of the things you keep on your Heart List? I’m always looking for new ideas!
Grace and peace,