Are you ready to write your vows? Not marriage vows – directional vows. This is a vow (or vows) in which you commit to a particular direction in the way you are living. Your vow simply points you in the right direction. In his book, Seven Thousand Ways to Listen, poet-writer Mark Nepo lists a few of his own vows:
“I try to stay visible. I don’t mean that I draw attention to myself, but that I try not to mute or withhold my presence and care. This involves a rigorous practice of self-honesty, for I can stand in a room full of loved ones or strangers and no one will know if I am present or not. We also think of being visible as being capable of being seen, but as important is the often neglected fact that, unless we are visible, out in the open, we can’t see. Being invisible limits our vision. So I try to live in the open and meet everything with the strength of vulnerability, the way salmon swim upstream belly first.”
Mark also mentions vows of “staying committed to looking” and a vow to “stop rehearsing my way through life.”
I have several directional vows of my own. One is “to be less passive and more engaged.” This means spending less time watching movies, reading books and watching my daughters play basketball and more time making videos, writing books and playing basketball myself.
So take some time to write one or two directional vows for the month of February. What direction would you like to go in? If you prefer, you can call them “devotional vows.” At the beginning of the year, many people make resolutions for the year. Think about the difference between a resolution and a vow. A resolution is something made by a board of directors or by a government body. A vow is sacred. A vow connects us with our heart, our spirit. We abide by a resolution, but we devote ourselves to vows.
So what is your vow for the month of February?
Gregg Krech Author, Naikan: Gratitude, Grace and the Japanese Art of Self-reflection (2002)| Author, A Natural Approach to Mental Wellness (2004, 2011)| Author, A Finger Pointing to the Moon (2000)| Editor, Thirty Thousand Days: A Journal for Purposeful Living (1993-Present)| Director, ToDo Institute (Vermont) (1992-Pr......