Monday, March 03, 2008

Buddha Bowl

I woke up this morning thinking about all the things that I need to do and realized quite quickly that, if I allow it, there will be no end to the crazy amounts of work that I expect from myself.

Last night, after finishing a painting appropriately titled "Lilly Rabbit," I lit vanilla scented candles and a fire in the fireplace; I made a pot of chai with a few extra cardamom pods (for the sake of decadence) and snuggled into the chair I've been gazing longingly towards for the past 2 months. My old cat, Moonshadow, must have decided I looked comfortable and decided to nestle in close next to me. mmmm...Perfect. I sat and read Sunny Schlenger's book, Organizing for the Spirit, and something about her balanced outlook must have sunk in because today I decided to approach my "to-do" list a little bit differently.

Meet The Buddha Bowl. As I layed in bed, for some reason, I thought of a woman I met last summer who told me about her God Bowl. The God Bowl was, basically, a bowl that she filled with water every day to remind her to begin anew each day. I loved the idea, but never did it myself because the God Bowl would inevitably become a slurping bowl for the cats and dogs that share my space.

Anyway, my "to-do" lists have been getting a bit out of control. I love making lists, but after a while they can make even the most joyful work start to feel overwhelming. So today, rather than make lists, I've decided to treat today's intentions with a bit more sacredness. Here's what I came up with:
  • Find a simple, yet beautiful bowl to use as your sacred container of intentions--the simpler it is, the better.
  • Gather up some beautiful paper, a nice pen, and a pair of scissors.
  • Cut your paper into small fortune cookie size pieces and, on each piece, lovingly write the intention that you hope to accomplish today (or this week or this year or whatever...). I cut each piece of paper as I went so that I didn't feel compelled or obligated to fill up more pieces of paper than I actually wanted to deal with.
  • As you write, think honestly about whether or not this is something you are truly able and wanting to accomplish. The fact that you are using such beautiful paper will help remind you not to waste your time and energy (and beautiful paper) on things that are not humanely impossible or don't matter to begin with.
  • As the day progresses, choose tasks from your Buddha Bowl as you see fit. But remember: only one task at a time. Set your intention to carry out that task with efficiency and joy.
The first task that I am going to choose from my Buddha bowl is to finish the painting of "Murphy." Upon waking, I felt like I had too much to do today, but in doing this, I see that some things are more important to me than others. Today it is important that I finish this painting and that I get my advertising materials created and sent out. Today it is important to me that I dismantle the mess on my desk and make time to meet my Circe's sisters tonight for our weekly conference call. It's important to me that I get a first layer of paint down for "Magnificent Bean" and that I go down to the coffee shop to hang my most recent paintings. But that's it. That is a lot, but not too much. It is exactly what I feel like I can accomplish while still maintaining a sense of sacredness towards the tasks at hand.

Here's to joy, efficiency, sacredness, and simplicity. I invite you to try this as well. I must admit: I already feel it working. ;)


Anonymous said...

this ritual is lovely -- almost as lovely as you, my friend.
p.s. i still miss you terribly.

Anonymous said...

This is a grand idea! I too have been feeling overwhelmed! Thank you.

bee said...

my god.


doing this tomorrow.


(i do miss you.)

Anonymous said...

what a wonderful idea, thank you for sharing

Jamie said...

Absolutely beautiful idea! I know that I can flit from one thing to another creating a rather frenetic energy. I love the peace and focus created by the ritual. Beautiful!

Suzie Ridler said...

What a stunning idea, I love how you took the photo and wrote about it. This has inspired me.

Anonymous said...

This is such a great idea Jessie. Your last bunch of posts have me feeling so inspired and so, so happy that you've found your path. Your paintings are truly lovely. xo

Deirdre said...

The gentleness of the bowl takes away some the urgency of a to-do list. I like it, but don't know if it would keep me on track. That said, I think I may create a bowl to remind me to be less frantic in accomplishing things. So much to do ....

Anonymous said...

Oh Jessie, I LOVE this Buddha bowl idea!
I am so going to this...starting today!
I too, feel overwhelmed with tasks and the million little things that seem to always be in the background somewhere.
Such a beautiful, empowering idea to put into practice...thank you.

PS..I thought of you this weekend...went to a brand new local coffee house. They serve only fair-trade organic things and ALL the gorgeous paintings on the walls are done by a local artist...and there's even a painting of 2 yellow labs.

Amber said...

Hi sweetheart. Just stopping in to give a ((hug)).

I love this idea. I wonder what I could do to do something like this with my kids... Hmm.


Lisa-Marie said...

Fantastic idea. Thanks for the continued inspiration.

jennifer lee said...

Love this. And...get this... earlier this week after talking to my coach and feeling overwhelmed about all the stuff I'm juggling and all the actions I have to do, she suggested something similar but a little different. I've been feeling like I have so much to do but am not getting anything done (which I know is not really true, as I'm slowly chipping away at each different project). Anyway, she asked me to get a bowl and as I finished a task toward my projects, to put something in it like a flower petal or beads. That way I could see my progress without having to bust out a project plan! I chose beads and already have 7 in there since Wednesday! Yeah! Hadn't gotten around to blogging about it yet, but was planning to ;) Thanks for the inspiration and new slant on the idea.

Jessie said...

Jenn, I love that suggestion! I have to admit that the only thing my bowl was missing was the satisfaction of getting to cross something off. Your coach's beads or petals idea is an excellent solution! Thank YOU for sharing your inspiration. ;)

caroline : my pocket said...

I love this idea, think I will try it. And the little buddha that has been travelling with you everywhere, that really touched me. I'd love to have a little friend with me, so sweet. :) xoxo