Tell me, What is it You Plan to Do With Your One Wild and Precious Life?
I remember my first reading of Mary Oliver’s, “The Summer Day.” Her poem and naturalistic treatise taking readers from up high to ground level.
I remember my first reading of Mary Oliver’s, “The Summer Day.” Her poem and naturalistic treatise taking readers from the high level, rhetorical questions:
“Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear…” down to eye level for a close encounter and Zen-style rumination on the daily grind of a grasshopper. (Only Oliver could pull that off.)
And then she wallops us with her closing question and full-throated challenge:
How we each intend to be at choice in our lives and experience our remaining days?
“Tell me what is it you plan to do with your One Wild and Precious Life?” she asks.
Her invitation to us all: to contemplate, commune with our true nature and highest form of creative expression – and whenever possible, observe the gifts the idleness of nature offers.
For me, this question brings the majority of life’s companion questions into context. To consider there are no dress rehearsals or do overs – until Shirley MacLaine proves otherwise. That this is our one and only precious life. And that we have an incredible opportunity and responsibility to decide how we show up for it each and every day. Ever mindful, whether we’re playing the lead, understudy, round or flat character in our own lives. To make it work for us! Not to the exclusion of others, whom we love and have a commitment to care for, but to consciously choose how we will configure or reconfigure this life, beginning with our daily choices. Simply put, if we get it right for us, recognizing our energy isn’t an endless wellspring, but must be replenished – chances are – we’ll get it right for those who count on us.
Next, Oliver takes us down another passageway:
“Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?”
Okay, so now it gets even stickier. This theme I encounter in my coaching practice, where strong, vibrant, creative women honor me with their stories. Their victories, their setbacks, concerns at a certain age about negotiating a final comeback. They’ve flexed, straddled, leaned in and been leaned on, far beyond what Sheryl Sandberg likely first envisioned. They pride themselves on being the most efficient project manager any team would celebrate – be it on the work or home front. It’s a part of their fabric to be and do all things. On those days, they feel the most or least equipped to get the job done, they always show up.
Yet, many voice time and time again, a nagging feeling that they’re not measuring up; they’ve yet to reach their full potential; there’s something missing. Their interior ROI isn’t reflecting or yielding the same returns on their investment, no matter their outward accomplishments. I get it!
Now is a great time of personal expression and renewed vision, as demonstrated this past weekend at the Women’s March. By all accounts, the year 2017 will be a year of amazing change. It also happens to be a 1 year in the numerology cycle, which according to the experts makes us primed for awesome new beginnings. So, let’s begin to create our own genius formula for goal setting, being more at choice for where and with whom we direct our energy. Which projects we invest ourselves in, and when setting new goals, cross check by asking ourselves are they SMART and MEANINGFUL? Otherwise, they won’t stick, no matter what difference they make in our lives.
I invite you to share your thoughts with others on the site, as we breathe life into our individual and collective voice:
What is it We plan to do with our One Wild and Precious Life?
A strong woman is one who gives selflessly but also knows the value of self-care
She loves wholeheartedly and seeks the highest expression of her true self
She’s not afraid to be bold and voice her truth
She’s courageous and hopeful when things around her appear hopeless
She’s able to find bliss in solitude and freely invites it, particularly on those days that demand the most from her
A strong woman in her true essence is a gift to the all the world
A strong woman like YOU!