Monday, October 24, 2005

A Year of Living Generously...

...or "another act in the Andrea-gets-a-wild-idea" play. This one could be interesting, though.

Obviously I'm pulling this idea from the book A Year of Living Dangerously by Christopher Koch. (I'd link to the movie, but it's got Mel Gibson in it and he's currently in my "ignore" file. Three guesses why.) But the book is about becoming radicalized and doing the small next-right-thing. (And then reverting back to the big gesture and getting killed. We're going to skip that part.)

But what if, for the next 12 months, we explore ways of living generously? One focus per month. And then we could work on it together. With help and a feeling of community, we might move slightly closer to actually implementing real changes in our lives and for the world. My experience is that changes that feel huge often aren't. And they're easier yet when there are other people along for the ride.

It doesn't make a boatload of sense to start this sort of thing in November, I know. The first of the year is just around the corner, after all. But this is me. By then, I will have had and discarded (or completely forgotten about) dozens of ideas. And besides, there's merit in starting now. Two months from now, two months will have passed and we could have been making progress all that time.

I need to figure out what "generous" means in this context. I need to think up 12 ways to do that. I'm seriously thinking small, but intentional, meaningful... and possibly something I've been putting off doing because it feels too hard. I'm open to any and all ideas. Comment away... I need you!

Moreover, there could be many "years" here. There could be the year of living justly. The year of living courageously. The year of living graciously. The year of living intentionally. A year of living gently with the earth and other people. Heck, this is me. We could have several years of living competently, just to shake things up a bit.

But why am I completely unmoved by the idea of "a year of living efficiently"? Or, "a year of living in an organized way"? I'll think about that some more, but I suppose it's because my project here is to change the world. And who really cares if I live inefficiently or my closets are a jumble? Not me, as it turns out.

In the "giving credit where credit is due" department, the basis for this idea came from my yoga-buddy Loretta. She has had our yoga-circle working on a monthly yoga focus for almost a year now. She publishes inspired monthly guides for our yoga practice, and then we go off and do the best we can. It's made a difference in my practice. To read her work, go here: Yogalila. While you're there, remind her that she needs to compile these monthly guides into a book ;)

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