List ten things you know to be true.
Do it now, without forethought, and watch where your mind takes you. Then choose one from your list, and chew on it for awhile. Give it some thought.
Which one calls to you? Take a few moments to ponder; tease out what's lurking below the surface of your initial thoughts.
Sarah Kay, a spoken word poet and graduate of Brown University, features this exercise with her poetry students, a sort of "list writing." The list may conjure up regrets of the past, hopes for the future, the people and things you love, or something as overarching as the dark and light elements of the world at large. Maybe your worldview will come to light, your attitudes and opinions will shine through, or your deepest desires and even fears. Just the act of looking can be startling and revealing.
Here's my list, off the cuff.
1. This life of mine will come to an end.
2. Everyone and everything I love will disappear.
3. I have a longing that doesn't recede with age. It is a longing to connect.
4. There is a deep urging towards creativity in my heart.
5. The world is a beautiful place, and it is also an unfriendly, detached place which forces me to find authentic purpose and meaning.
6. Underneath all the posturing, praying, and support from family and loving friends; still, there is a deep well of fear within. Fear of the unknown?
7. I've never been afraid of or held back from realizing my dreams.
8. Everything in our world is paradoxical. Everything.
9. I am privileged (fortunate simply to have been born in this country), but not chosen. No one is "chosen" in the sense that they are somehow special people in one god's eyes.
10. People are at the deepest, most essential level, the same everywhere. All of us need to be loved.
And....(drum roll).....number 11 would be: Thoughts are things, and I CAN choose the good ones.
What presented itself to you?