City Social Magazine

SEP 2014

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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52 Ever since Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson lit up the screen with the film, people are often asked the question, what's in your bucket list? What do you want to do before you die? How about we ask it more specifi- cally and categorically? What's in the bucket list of behavioral adjustment that could help us read the world dif- ferently? For those who are attempting to do without alcohol, we say 'do 90 meetings in 90 days.' And one's world is changed. For those wanting to start exercising, we say whatever form one chooses, do it for three weeks. The exercise becomes a habit and the world is different. For those who want to remove negative self- talk, we advise recitation of positive messages throughout the day that change the existing tapes that are on autopilot. A new default is now avail- able. A college psychology professor once told me that we don't see the world objectively. We read the world subjectively. It has stuck with me since the tender age of 19, and ever since that wake up response, I have been fascinated by how one reads a situation one way while another's reading is completely different. And so I ask of us to think about how we read the world and how might we wish to read it differently. What do we look for? What grabs our attention? What challenges our sight? Our judgments? How might we be stretched beyond our comfort zone into a zone that while appearing uncomfort- able, is more life-giving than we thought. To put it another way, where do we walk during the day? How do we behave in ways we wish to transform, perhaps through change? Or perhaps in the way we judge the behavior? What attitudes seem to weigh us down? What relationship patterns need to be redesigned? During a recent conversation, a friend suggested that true conversion is not about moving from the head to the heart; rather, it is about moving from the mouth to the foot. What we say needs to be consistent with how we behave. Pretty simple, huh? Here's a beginning list of actions we might could take that could, when done habitually, sincerely, open-mindedly and respectfully, change the way we read the world, and therefore make the soil of the earthly soul a bit more fertile. 1) Enter into another person's culture and show gratitude for what they offer the world. 2) Enter into another religious expression and show gratitude for how they worship. 3) Ask that very person how the worship experience makes them more loving? More compassionate? Less righteous? Less hypocritical? 4) Mentor one person who is in need of assistance. 5) Call a different person from the past each day for 90 days. 6) Read a book that challenges your worldview. 7) Take the bus or some form of transit system that is usually populated by the poor and listen to the story of someone you sit next to. 8) Give up a pleasure for 40 days and put the money toward a favorite cause. 9) Write down five experiences a night that you are grateful for from the preceding 12 hours. Self-knowledge is awareness of one's natural tendencies, appreciating the glimps- es of joy and following that joy into full and plentiful passion. dr. nicholas abraham is a writer, speaker, musician and licensed professional counselor in private practice. he can be reached at drnick@nickabraham.net. A Bucket List That Will Change Your Life w. nicholas aBraham, Ph.d., lPc-s If you're a woman over 40, having an annual mammogram can help you stay well and celebrate many years of birthdays. Learn more by calling the American Cancer Society day or night at 1-800-227-2345 or visiting cancer.org. Together we'll stay well, get well, find cures and fight back. Stay Well and Celebrate Each Day r e a d u s o n l i n e a t w w w . c i t y s o c i a l . c o m

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