This is for me. You're welcome to ride along.
I have four current goal areas, all through a frame of being-ness in "my relationship to":
- biggest self
- nourishing relationships
- better society
- healthy family
I see these daily inside Complice, where I also do my weekly, monthly, and quarterly (just finished my first) reviews. Yeah, it's been 3(.5) months since ending my corporate career. The following thoughts flow out of my quarterly review reflections. It is not some kind of grand forward-looking vision
Structure-building has gone quite well. Starting from scratch, I now have new habits! By which I mean, the habits I want - no "bad" habits that I can see, and what I have constructed supports me in being aware and intentional. Looking back, I wonder if I would have failed to do what I'm doing right now if I had tried to generate it all up-front and do all of it at once? Getting up easily, pre-reviewing my day, daily exercise, staying in touch with friends, intentional meta moments with my wife - that's a lot! But not in a "wow, he must be so disciplined" way: these things have been grown non-coercively, and I don't use willpower to do them. Many "past me"s would find that quite astonishing. It feels great - oh, it's actually a validation of non-doing: stop doing the wrong thing (forcing, coercing myself) and the right thing (things I want to be/do) does itself! Really - it feels exhilarating to discover that this is possible.
Being-ness has worked really well here, so there's not much I want to "do"! As a being, I feel a recurring (hum, not quite continuous) pull towards awareness, and if I go without it my subconscious notices that it's missing and alerts me. I feel a pull towards more self-love in the vein of @nickcammarata. For me it's expanding past the (or at least my) Christian frame around original sin, utter depravity, and PSA to come to be in a space where I am inherently lovable and allowed to be who I am without shame, unapologetically, nonjudgementally, non-valenced-ly. I think I'll lean in to that rising hedonic set point because, hey, why not feel good, and also there are a bunch of parts of myself that still need acceptance and love and further integration.
A good conversation throws off sparks. Two (or more) friends connecting, bringing their authentic selves in unshielded presence, feels so energizing as insights and ideas and extensions fly around. That's what I think of when I say "nourishing" - where you come away from an interaction feeling renewed and energized, with more (metaphorical, not electrons) energy than before you went in. ...which means you look forward to them to! They have an attraction and you look forward to it because you know well how much you're going to enjoy spending time together.
I have no shortage of friends in any normal accounting. Yet, I was feeling isolated and "distanced" a few months into pandemic time. So I set up a structure for myself - a basic list with a few date columns, an mvp "personal CRM" conceptually. This has worked fabulously for me! Hitting the non-coercive bit again, I hold no "should"s for myself: if a reminder date comes and I'm not feeling the draw, I just change it. But the expansion of my awareness towards the people I care about, that's the important bit. It's a bit of a second brain for me that supplements the natural gaps in my wetware.
My intention has been 2+ weekly hangouts, for the last quarter. I realized I wasn't actually measuring it recently, but I think I've been hitting it. I have 5 set up this week. Only a few times can I remember having fewer than 2 in a week. Scheduling with people can take days or weeks sometimes, so it's more about keeping an active pipeline flowing. I'll keep it going, continue to expand the list, and hope I don't run out of bandwidth too soon.
This goal represents my intention to be of service to the world, held mostly as my dream of building an organization of sorts, codename "intentional society". I feel almost ready to say a few things about what's in/out of that, now. The past quarter has been a time of sensing, researching, tuning in - a bunch of synonyms for listening, instead of charging in.
I've certainly been active in structured learning activities lately: Authentic relating deep dive. Future of Work miniconf. Authentic Relating Training level 2. Microsolidarity class and a spin-off small group. Bunches of sessions at The Stoa and Interintellect. The Overview Program. Thermodynamics of Emotion symposium. Multiple coachee engagements. My own research interviews helped me experience some diverse perspectives - and yes, I still plan to write up what I learned.
I'm also in about six different small groups of various purposes, which resist categorization as "for" other people and spread across multiple relational types. Exploring together and interacting with other people is the act of relating to myself and others simultaneously.
Right now I'll put a pin in this jumbled category, meaning to come back to the "what" question more soon.
This is broken out from the I/we/it 1st/2nd/3rd-person totalization above, in part because my wife and kids are so special to me, and perhaps even more because it's a big operational category for my daily life. In the summer we developed and refined "the wheel": a day-by-day rotation of the kids through desired activities for fairness and freshness. Picking the TV show, Minecraft time on the desktop computer, one-on-one time with Dad... we built a good rhythm.
Then restarting remote school was a bigger shift than normal, with a lot of family interaction added on top of the larger learning curve of new grade/school flux. It's taken about a month, but we've built a pretty good set of new rhythms once again. It's been so useful for me to be intentionally aware of the people with whom I already spend so much time with, and our relationships! Being (...everything, detaching being from so much else) is improving my parenting and my marriage and also pointing out lots of spandrils and defenses deep down in me. As I love them better, I grow to love myself better as well.
Be my best and biggest self, have energizing and nourishing relationships and a healthy thriving family, and sense what I can do in/with/for society. Yup, I'm still pretty happy with that list, and with the through-line of being, in relationship to each of those things as I explore and integrate my newly expansive being. At times, I am impatient to do more, faster - while at other times I think I'm still doing too much. I get to re-figure who I want to be when I grow up (show up?), now that I've done a lot of growing/cleaning/waking up. I remind myself that what is, is perfectly what it is, and could be no other way.