Tuesday, December 1, 2015

REVERB15 (Day 1): Maybe lists are like prayers

LIFE IS FOR THE LIVING. As part of my "Hallelujah Life" series celebrating the cycle of life, this image reflects my contemplation of death as a natural part of living. Not easy to accept, the presence of death in our lives offers us the opportunity to truly LIVE our lives. (Art by Hallelujah Truth, aka Ruth Schowalter)
REVERB15 (Day 1) Prompt: What sorts of lists do you have on the go at the moment? What do they suggest you are praying for? 

Hallelujah for year-end reflections and prompts that support these "blog-flections"! I will be doing my best to blog during the 21 days of REVERB15 and then during the 10 days of CONTINUOUS CREATIVITY during the Winter Solstice Challenge on my Facebook group, The Daily Creative Practice (please join us on this warm online creative community supporting each other's "uniquities.")

Not exactly a "list person," I have learned in the last decade-and-a-half to create itemized lists of "actions taken" and "actions to take." I attribute my list making endeavors to three sources: The Artist Conference Network in Atlanta (to which I was a member and even leader for a number of years). My boon companion and husband Chiboogamoo, aka Tony Martin (who is the best list maker ever, relishing the "check off" each evening). Phil Porter's and Cynthia Winton-Henry's improvisational system InterPlay, (of which one of  its tools for transformation is incrementality).

Each one of my inspirations for list making named above CELEBRATE THE SUCCESS of completing list items, creating IMMENSE COMFORT and SENSE OF WELL BEING. In the Artist Conference Network, during the partner coaching sessions, you acknowledge yourself for your "actions taken" and then your partner, who has been listening very closely, acknowledges you too for your accomplishments! My Chiboogamoo has stacks of small pocket-sized notebooks piled up in the study detailing the daily steps that has led him to writing 3 books of note and numerous academic articles, not to mention lesson plans and exams! InterPlay offers participants an "embodied" way to experience the mini-accomplishments resulting from list making or incrementality. While walking around a room, taking careful step after step (resembling one item at a time), everyone is invited to choose when to leap or applaud themselves for what they have achieved. We do not have to wait until the very conclusion of our met goals to reward ourselves. We can have hurrays and hurrahs all along the way.

What is prayer? What is a list? To explore those two questions, I would like to share with you a phrase I utter at least once or more a day. A remnant from my Artist Conference Days, I still create a "vision" to guide my daily actions. The one I am using currently is a hodgepodge of old and new:

I am the body, the rock, the Buddha, igniting creativity in myself and others while fostering love and forgiveness, easefully and joyfully.

For me this "vision" is prayer like. It also precedes my list of life endeavors or goals, my hopes--yes, my prayers for me:

100 percent health
Meaningful relationships
Meaningful work
Getting paid to play 

Each day, when I am focused, I break down these big life themes, goals, or prayers into a list of "actions to be taken." I write them down in a black 12" X 8" hard cover blank paged book and do delight in checking off them off at the end of the day and reviewing what else needs to be done. I know that I am happier when I can share my "actions to be taken" with someone else. 

Perhaps, lists are like prayers uttered in one's heart, written on the page, shared with a friend or community, and ultimately with the GREAT MYSTERY. Writing on this topic of lists as prayers is encouraging me to play more with my lists, to "embody" them more through dance and play.   
LISTS ARE PRAYERS! Lists are for the living!
That's Coffee with Hallelujah. SOUL BLOG with me and share how you might view your lists like prayers.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: Thanks to Kat McNally for hosting yet another REVERB, a 21-day-year-end blogathon that allows us time for reflection and sharing those "blog-flections" with a community of other bloggers around the world. Also thanks to Wolf and Word, who is providing her Facebook page as another way to participate in Reverb15.


  1. How interesting to see how you use lists Hallelujah. And i certainly love your vision/prayer. What a beautiful reminder to carry with you intentionally.

    1. Dear Deborah! I appreciate your acknowledgment of my vision and its intentionality. Now I would like to visit your blog! Yay!

  2. WOW! What an energetic and inspiring post here, Ruth! You are right - we DO have similar dreams/lists/prayers to share our creative joy with others. I believe we will get there yet!
    BTW: I've never really been one for making 'goals' until recently, but I do like making lists though I often forget about them when engaging in ART ;)

    1. Thank you so much Creative Beast for visiting my blog and responding to my blog-flection! I thinking making lists are a jumping off point for the creativity we engage in. The list "informs" our creative acts and often get accomplished without our "efforting."

  3. I love the idea that lists can be a celebration. Your daily vision is wonderful, I'm folding it into my list of inspirations.

    1. Corinne cheers to celebrations of our daily lists! They are like petitions made to the greater mystery. I look forward to visiting your blog.

  4. What a wonderful list! Hallelujah, and may it be so!

  5. Interesting blog Ruth. Personally, I rarely make lists, or perhaps I do, but I don't write them down. In general, I think in outline form so written list seem unnecessary. That said, as I've gotten older, I find my brain isn't as limber as it used to be and occasionally I do mark a calendar or something. I don't have a creative to do list or a buck list, or even a list of words I'd like to use more often, but I do have things I think about doing or want to eventually accomplish.Non of them involve prayer, but I'm far from religious or even spiritual. I fly by the seat of my ever drooping pants.

  6. Lunkhead, since I know you pretty well I really enjoyed reading about how you view lists and wonder what you might accomplish if you did indeed keep a list. I don't think prayer has to be religious or spiritual...more entertaining some force larger than myself.

  7. I LOVE the image that you have accompanying this post. It's so appropriate to acknowledge the death portion of the life cycle during this cold and dark winter season.