Love is the point.
Love for self. Love for others. Love for God. Love for the Universe. Love for children. Love for ideas. Love for the process. Love for the result. Love for tantric sex. Love for numbers. Love for words. Love for money. Love for service. Love for dreams. Love for concrete, tangible reality. Hell, even love for power and fame and control.
It’s the point. All there is. All there ever has been.
I hate building habits. Actually, I take that back. I love building habits; I just hate sticking to them. I’m not a trained monkey, nor any subject of Pavlov’s. I will not run your daily drills, thank you very much. Yes, I realize that I’m talking to myself at this point, but I’ve got to face the facts: I enjoy obeying other people’s edicts (including those concocted by my well-meaning past self) about as much as I imagine I would enjoy a root canal, which is not much.
You know what I do love? Gifts. Gifts are awesome. So when I want to do something daily, I turn it into a gift in the form of a gorgeous ritual.
Semantics, you say? I don’t this so. Let’s take a look.
Getting out of bed at 5:30 in the morning is a habit to which many aspire, myself included. Problem is: this is a habit that is damn near impossible to instill if you know that you don’t have to get up until 6:18 to make it to work in the nick of time. Building this in as a habit, like I said: bad.
Imagine, however, that we take 5:30 off the table. That habit makes me sigh.
Instead, we build a ritual. I know that I’m very motivated by beauty and order. Knowing this about myself, I decide to have a morning cappuccino—down to the foam and cocoa powder sprinkled on top—every morning at my table with my agenda and perhaps a little writing. Now, in order to indulge myself, I know that I must get out of bed just a little earlier. In order to bask in the beauty of that frothy foam, I must get up before 6:18. But, and this is the clincher, I want to get up. I’m pulled to my kitchen to froth a little almond milk, to glide the perfect felt tip pen over the pages of my gorgeous agenda.
Leave the habits and bells for the dogs. I’ll take the visceral pleasure of a ritual any day, preferably with cocoa powder sprinkled on top.
If you knew—without the shadow of a doubt—that you would eventually fulfill your dream of becoming a travel writer (or an actor, or a foster parent), how would you prepare? If you knew that you were going to be called to be a pastor (or a teacher, or a speaker), what would you do differently right now? If you knew with certainty that you were going to meet your soulmate in exactly one month from now, how would you change today?
Would you brush up on your Spanish, delve into your morning devotionals more fervently, join Toastmasters? In order to be ready for that inevitable opportunity, would you rebalance your ratio of carrot sticks to Cheetos? Volunteer at the local animal shelter? What would you do?
Your future is on its way.
It used to be that physical nakedness was a sign of trust. A lady revealed the soft skin of her calf in a show of intimacy. Of course, fast forward to today and the skin parade leaves little to the imagination.
Instead, our inability to be naked reveals itself in the form of layers of emotional clothing topped by a parka…and a good scarf and hat to boot. I will reveal my body, my life story, my Instagram story in exchange for your tacit acceptance of my silence regarding anything that really matters. My dreams, my hopes, my vulnerabilities? Even among trusted friends, we often hold a little something back, keep on a layer or two just to be safe.
It’s time to start a new trend. Start removing a layer here and there. Show some skin. No need for a full frontal. Yet.
But maybe show a little ankle?
Does the idea…
…make your heart race?
…encourage meaningful change?
…put a light in your eyes?
…keep you up at night with ideation?
…connect you with people you love/admire?
…force you out of your comfort zone?
If none of these apply, is it really an idea worth having?