I have long been a big fan of Nik Askew, short-filmmaker, blogger, inspirer. I first discovered his website www.monday9am.tv in 2007 and have, over the ensuing years, shared many of his beautiful black-and-white featurettes of fascinating people with interesting things to say. Somewhere along the way, Nik changed the website address to www.soulbiographies.com, a perfectly apt moniker, and I continue to visit regularly.
Recently, Nik posted a very short poem that really grabbed my attention. Here it is ...
In a dream more real than his daytime,
a grown man meets himself.
Himself at just ten. With the light
in his eyes. And the world in his heart.
He sets out to explain to his young
self why he's taken the road
to someone else's somewhere.
But he can't.
And in the deafening silence he shakes
uncontrollably. As the years
of an unconsidered life spill over.
And in that silence everything changes.
Perhaps the ten year old
had been his
very soul in disguise.
Come to shake him
from the prison of his daytime.
So, I am here on behalf of your ten year old self. Asking you to reread that poem a few times and give the idea some real, honest contemplation.
What would your ten year old self think of the life you are living today? Are you comfortable explaining the compromises you have made? What exciting dreams and plans do you have to share with your young self?
How about your 90 year old self? Jumping forward however far that may be, what do you think that version of you would say to you right now! Which of today's actions - or, even more likely, inactions - will impact that dear old soul?
Synchronously, my great friend Amanda sent me her favourite Monday blog, www.marcandangel.com. The post was this list of 95 Questions to Help You Find Meaning and Happiness. I cannot imagine a better place than this to start generating "a considered life".
Heading into the end of another year, why not set aside a half day or a full evening, and really answer these 95 questions for yourself?
Spending a minimum of 2 minutes on each.
Actually writing your answers down.
It may be the first time in many years (ever?) that you have truly visited, intimately and intentionally, with any version of your self at any age!
Or, you know, don't. I am sure there is something more important that someone else needs you to do. In that life that they are having you live instead.