“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
—Henry David Thoreau
Thoreau is one of my favorite writers, along with Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson and others who proffered transcendentalism. Some have speculated, convincingly so, that Thoreau was gay, along with other notaries — Leonardo DaVinci, William Shakespeare, and most recently suspected, Abraham Lincoln. Hell, I boldly claim them all for Team Queer, and were I to invite personalities from history for that special hypothetical dinner party, I would have questions for each of them. Kathleen Cahill’s marvelous production of CHARM that was produced two years ago at Salt Lake Acting Company featured all these transcendentalists, and Robert Scott Smith played a wonderfully fascinating Thoreau. Thoreau was a person who wrote often about living a life on your terms — a deliberate life.
Hmmmmm? Queer people. Taking 100 percent responsibility for a deliberate life, having one’s own needs fully met while not wanting, wishing or hoping that another, several others, organizations, the Internet, government, whatever take that accountability. Claiming, stating, attracting what you want, and then going about creating the mindset and the conditions necessary to get those amazing, self-defined, luminous needs met. FACT!
I struggle with truly knowing myself, constantly owning my reality. I regularly have to kick my own ass and force myself to remember that was then, this is now. I typically find that I have to move myself through a process of finding my own peace, releasing the past, identifying what I truly need, and then going about getting the need(s) met. Why is it that some people in this lifetime evolve and live that deliberate life, while others simply don’t?
I’d like to suggest taking responsibility, and not resisting ourselves and what we really value in life. This resistance upsets not only our sense of serenity and peace, but serves no purpose. If we can release the need to control the situation, then we can allow it to be as it is, unfold, happen for us and we can move on, learn and the best — evolve.
This self ownership and success comes down to getting the same five basic human needs met.
1. Physical needs: Sexual, nourishment, shelter, financial and activity.
2. Intellectual needs: Learning, evolving, growing and expanding the mind.
3. Social needs: Belonging, traveling, networking, connecting and making a difference.
4. Emotional needs: Interpersonal purpose, relationships, friendship, love, support and meaningful interaction.
5. Spiritual needs: Feeding of the soul, enlightenment, resonance, connectivity and self-awareness.
If you want to create a more deliberate life, might I suggest the ability to do just that using these five core needs. Balance is also there, as is renewal, reinvention and rejuvenation. Being fully alive too! I attempt to blend at least two or more of them together if I want to create change or a wonderful memory for myself, my relationship, my world. There are weekends that are carved out and reserved, and the only goal is to tap into these core needs in as many ways possible; those very weekends become the most fulfilling.
Let’s raise a glass to deliberate living, a life informed, a life where everyone is in charge of taking care of their own needs.