In the early to mid-90’s, I created a personal mission statement based on a process I learned in Stephen Covey’s book First Things First. When I finished the mission statement, I hung it on a wall in my house. I glance at it from time to time, and when I do I always feel amazed. That document is as true today as it was on the day I wrote it. There is no doubt in my mind that these have been the guiding principles of my life and are evidence that I have walked this life with intention.
Karuna’s Mission Statement
In this lifetime I will strive to be in integrity in each moment. I will live as simply as possible, so that I may experience an abundance of time, space, money and other resources.
I will be watchful and take advantage of the opportunities that I am given so that I learn what I need to learn and do what I need to do. I will trust that as long as I stay active in this process, my needs will be provided for.
I will let go and trust that the lessons I am given are for my own good. I will welcome each lesson that comes, asking for the support I need to maintain this life position.
I will do what I need to do to open the pathways to my true self. I will follow the instructions given by my inner voice. I will use my relationship with Amma to enhance this process and to help me realize my full potential.
I will support my children in becoming skillful, happy adults who are capable of achieving the goals they set for themselves. I will provide them with a wide variety of living experiences.
I will be a role model of healthy living, teaching others the lessons as I learn them. I will support others in a way that helps them to achieve their visions and grow to their full potential.
While I know that the words of the mission statement I wrote in the 90’s will continue to reflect the guiding principles of my life, it occurred to me while I was planning this post that it would be interesting to create additional intentions focused on the last part of my life; intentions that would be relevant whether I die years from now, or in decades.
Even though my life has long been focused on service, and I expect service will remain an important part of my life until it is no longer possible for me to do so, I recognize that I need to adjust its place in my life priorities.
During my latter years:
• I will take on the role of elder, being available to advise when asked, but keeping my tendency to volunteer to lead activities in check.
• I will give spiritual practices a high and ever increasing priority. These include activities such as Tai Chi, attending satsang, devotional singing, meditation, mantra, and chanting.
• I will maintain an independent life style as long as I can, but I will ask for and accept help when I need it. While being independent is a desire of mine, I also recognize it may not always be in my best interest.
• I will stay engaged with current friends and be open to making new ones.
• I will keep my body healthy by exercising, eating nutritious food, taking my medications and supplements and getting adequate rest. I will minimize the amount of stress in my life.
• I will keep my mind active and alert by blogging, learning Sanskrit, and by using the Lumosity brain training program.
• I will accept the fact that my body is aging. I will stay active but not exhaust myself. I will learn how to deal with the discomforts that come with the aging process.
• I will reengage with some of the activities that I enjoyed in the past, but let go of because of adult responsibilities or shifting interests (e.g. sewing, gardening, knitting, crocheting, quilting, weaving, etc.)
• I will remain open to discovering new interests.
• I will let go of my “plans” in favor of Spirit directed activities, meaning if I sense that I am being called to take a new direction I will.
I look forward to discovering whether these new intentions will stay as alive and relevant as the ones I wrote in the 90’s have. I believe they will.
Originally written for The Seeker’s Dungeon’s Walking with Intention Series.