How about starting a “new and improved” to-do list with me?
There is a soul and a higher consciousness to this heart-centered list that will help us live our lives with more grace and joy even while doing the most tedious errands.
I wish I had thought of this idea weeks ago. Life felt like a series of robotic to-dos, and I was in a deep funk. There was nothing expansive about living my life. Nothing broadening, deep, illuminating, spiritually satisfying, fun, or inspiring.
Run to the grocery store. Check.
Get to the post office before it closes. Check.
Fill my car up with expensive gas. Check.
Pick up two prescriptions. Check.
Buy a birthday card. Check.
Clean the house. Check.
Figure out what to have for dinner. Check.
What if I continue to write my list of to-dos but include a new type of list that lives side by side with each errand, goal, and dream? What if this new list adds higher vibrations of love, caring, patience, kindness, grace, empathy, inclusion, and compassion?
What if I name this new kind of list Humanity 101?
Why do I add “101” to the title?—we are always at the beginning as human beings. We flub up, improve, mess up, and try again. We are perfectly imperfect. A work in progress. A work in process.
My Life before the “Humanity 101” List
I arrive at a busy grocery store called Market Basket, and it’s filled with any kind of food my heart desires. I’m grateful I found a parking space and more than grateful that I have enough money to buy food. I run up and down the aisles, throw all the food in my cart, run to the register to pay, scurry out of the store, and quickly put everything in the trunk of my car.
There, I did it. I like grocery shopping, but it wasn’t a spiritually uplifting experience today. I didn’t say thank you to anyone. Didn’t smile. Had no social interactions. I accomplished my task and can check it off my list.
Let’s see. What’s next?
Before I drive home, I stop, breathe, and take a minute to check in with myself.
How do I feel?
Not good. I feel half-dead spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally. Tired. Uninspired. Socially Disconnected. Depressed. Rushed. Stressed. Unfulfilled. Dissatisfied. Edgy.
In the silence, I hear my highest wisdom whispers ask me, “Melody, how can you embrace the distinct parts of your life with greater mindfulness and love? How can you slow down and notice the present moment more often? How can you bless everything you do with greater spiritual meaning?”
My Life After the “Humanity 101” List
My wisdom whispers are on the right path. If I had woven Humanity 101 into my Market Basket experience today, grocery shopping would have magically transformed itself into a joyful, spiritual, inspiring, and socially connecting experience.
I look within and ask, “Using my Humanity 101 list as my spiritual guide, how can I create a more satisfying experience the next time I go grocery shopping?”
>> If I need to ask for help to reach an item on a high shelf (yes, I am short), I will make sure I thank the person who helps me, ask their name, and tell them mine. We may even converse for a minute or two.
>> Market Basket displays an assortment of international food choices. When I am standing in front of a counter and am curious about a food that is unfamiliar to me, I will step out of my comfort level and ask the person standing next to me the name of the food and how they cook it at home. What is their personal recipe?
>> Interactions can be challenging. There are people from diverse cultures in this store who do not speak English. It can also make communication exciting. It’s fun trying to say easy words in each other’s languages while using a large dose of nonverbal communication, maintaining warm eye contact, and enjoying human-to-human connection.
>> When I’m at the register, I will make a point of thanking the cashier and the person who packed my food.
What else is life about?
It’s about honoring all our global brothers and sisters with respect and love. Embodying Humanity 101 into every part of our lives is a perfect way to manifest a “loving consciousness” philosophy.
Most people are delighted when someone interacts with them. They feel visible, heard, less alone, and more connected. We are so much more than our job. I see a good hardworking human being behind their job, and I want that person to know that they matter to me, and I appreciate all they do and who they are.
When Humanity 101 lives side by side with my other to-do list, every errand, dream, vision, and goal mirror grace, joy, fun, social connection, and spiritual satisfaction.
>> Humanity 101 embodies our intention to spread the spirit of loving consciousness to everyone we meet.
>> Humanity 101 is friendly, kind, inclusive, empathic, and patient.
>> Humanity 101 allows us to goof off and become light and silly without noticing. In fact, it’s a requirement.
>> When we’re fragmented, Humanity 101 encourages us to stop the world and take long, slow, and deep breaths.
>> Humanity 101 leaves time to rest, nap, receive a massage, take a sensory nature walk, and watch the birds.
>> Humanity 101 massages our soul, lifts our spirit, and brings balance back to our body, mind, and spirit.
As you think about what you would put on your own Humanity 101 list, here are 18 ideas to get you started:
1. Love. Remember that all paths lead to love.
2. Reach out. Be a beacon of light, inspiration, and hope.
3. Give. Give without any expectations.
4. Good vibes. Aim for optimism.
5. Feel. Keep your heart open.
6. Backbone. Stand in your truth. Speak up. Give yourself an empowered voice.
7. Help. Do whatever you can to make this world a better place.
8. People. Listen, uplift, and inspire.
9. Forgive. Open your heart to forgiveness.
10. Awaken. Stay awake, aware, conscious, and fully present.
11. Open. Learn from people who are different from you.
12. Imagine. See your life as you would like it to be. See the world as you would like it to be.
13. Believe. No matter what is happening, visualize a world of mutual understanding and peaceful conflict-resolution.
14. Breathe. Breathe hope into every one of your cells and never give up on your vision for a more inclusive and peaceful world.
15. Dream. Keep your eyes up on the horizon and continue to dream of a humanity that embodies unity, kindness, and peace.
16. Be Peaceful. Do your best to work through difficult issues with family and friends.
17. Keep Faith. Do your best to be loving in a world that challenges your faith in humanity.
18. Goodness. Always remind yourself of all the good that exists inside you. Always remind yourself of all the good that exists in the world.
Please join my Humanity 101 party.
What would you like to add to my list? I’d love to hear from you.
Please note: These “Humanity 101” ideas are in my award-winning book, Heart-Dreamer: Stepping into Life, Love, Creativity and Dreams – No Matter What. Chapter 8, “Follow your Heart,” page 225. ©