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April 30, 2015

My Anti-Bucket List.

woman writer

“The most amazing things are right in front of us, right where we are. Right now. We don’t have to go anywhere or see some incredible sights or do daring activities to experience the wonder of life. … What would a shorter list of meaningful activities look like? What would your anti-bucket list contain?” ~ Leo Baobuta, Zen Habits

I’ve never watched the movie, The Bucket List, nor have I ever written my own bucket list.

Is it because I’m afraid of death and find it too morbid to make a list of things I want to do or places I want to go before I die? Or is it because I choose a lifestyle that is no longer governed by a checklist of any kind?

An anti-bucket list is a sort of a checklist. But rather than goals, these are the few, essential things that I incorporate into all my days.

They are neither goals to be achieved, nor places to be toured.

They are actions. They are present tense practices. They are everyday.

Breathing

I tune into my breath. I notice the inhale going in and the exhale going out. I notice the quality of my breath. I deepen and slow my breath. I practice pranayama. I feel a deep, intense gratitude for fresh, clean air and for my life-giving breath.

Stretching

I practice yoga asana. Maybe just for ten minutes. Maybe for over an hour. Active practice, sun salutations, vinyasa flows, quiet practice, yin, restorative poses. I tune into my body. I move and listen.

Reading

A poem, a chapter, an essay, article, memoir, novel, nonfiction book, blog… I read many things, but the key is to maintain a habit of reading quality literature and media. Nourishing the mind with good food.

Writing

Writing practice: stream of consciousness journaling. Freedom to write what I want. Freedom to create sentences and paragraphs from strings of letters and words. Freedom to write for myself only or for the world.

Walking

Whether a leisurely stroll or a rigorous hike, I walk every day. I move my limbs. I feel grateful for my body’s miraculous systems that keeps me alive and walking.

Loving

I practice peace. I speak and act with compassion. I listen mindfully. I am present and whole.

Sharing

I give what I can to others. I try to be of benefit. I share what little wisdom I have gained over the years of life and practice. I share my words with you as if they are tiny slices of cake.

Playing

I am curious. I am open. I laugh and sing and dance and play. I have fun.

Every day.

 

 

Relephant Read: 

My F*ck-it List.

 

Author: Michelle Margaret Fajkus 

Editor: Renée Picard

Photo: David Petras at Pixoto 

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Michelle Margaret Fajkus

Michelle Margaret is a heart-centered writer, teacher and creator of Yoga Freedom.

She has been a columnist on Elephant Journal since 2010 and has self-published inspiring books. She incorporates dharma, hatha, yin, mindfulness, chakras, chanting and pranayama into her teachings and practice. A former advertising copywriter and elementary school teacher, she is now a freelance writer and translator. Michelle learned yoga from a book at age 12 and started teaching at 22. She met the Buddha in California at 23 and has been a student of the dharma ever since. Michelle is now approaching her forties with grace and gratitude.

Join Michelle for a writing and yoga retreat this summer at magical Lake Atitlan in the western highlands of Guatemala!