A few days ago, Sandra and I watched a video recording of a program on the ABC called Making Australia Happy it is a project to teach people how to cultivate happiness. This is the blurb for the show:
For the first time ever in Making Australia Happy, the latest and most fascinating research from the science of happiness has been compiled, consolidated and taken for a test drive on the suburban streets of Sydney. Three of Australia’s leading experts have been set the challenge: take eight people from Australia’s unhappiest area and give them the tools to become happier.
I signed up to the website to take part in the challenges and have completed a couple of the first week challenges already. One of the challenges is to imagine that you’re at your own funeral, that you’re standing at the back of the church, chapel or whatever and no one can see you, but you can see and hear everything that is going on, and then write down what people say about you in their eulogies.
This is my attempt at the “Eulogy for Me” challenge.
At my funeral, were it to be held today, I believe that people would speak of their love for me and would mention that I was a good mother, and a treasured friend. They would speak of how I held to my faith and usually stood firm in my beliefs and values.
They would speak about my success with weight loss and being published and mention my pride in those achievements. They would remember my kindness and my attidude of acceptance for all people, no matter who, what, or where they were from. They’d speak of my whacky sense of humour and my optimisism. They may comment on my battles with depression, anxiety and chronic pain and illness. They’d also have a laugh about my temper, which although it was slow to rouse, was fiery hot, leading me to be compared to a dragon, even earning the nickname Magz Dragon, and that I had habitually dyed my hair red as a warning of my temper.
Friends and family would remember my love of horses, rats, cats and dogs and my dream of someday owning a miniature horse. They’d comment on my love of Australia and Australian history and my interest in Theology.
They would regret that I never found the opportunity to become a minister as I so dearly wanted to, or that I didn’t get the chance to work more with the GLBT community and let them know about God’s love for them. It would be mentioned that I had not realized my desire to run retreats and to counsel people in the area of spirituality, helping them to become connected to God and to community. They’d wish I’d had the chance to teach others technniques of mindfulness. There would be a sense of sadness that these opportunities were missed, not only by me, but by others who could have benefited from them.
I actually enjoyed doing this exercise and far from thinking that it was morbid or depressing, I found it really helped me to clarify my thoughts about what I want to do with my life and the things I have yet to achieve. This will really help me to look ahead and plan the ways to achieve the things I haven’t yet achieved in my life. I felt very positive and encouraged after writing this and reading it back to myself.
I’ve recently signed up to do some study through open university Australia, and I am going to see how I cope with that, and then work my way towards a degree, studying subjects which whill help me achieve my desire to work in the area of Spiritual Direction. I don’t know how or where that will work out in my actual life, but I figure if I start heading in the general direction of actually doing it, then I will arrive there sooner or later.
I will probably blog about some of the other activities that I do for this challenge as the weeks progress. I’m looking forward to what’s in store!