Insights from The Deep

Making a Reverse Bucket List

Sandy Beach

The Power of Making a Reverse Bucket List is Profound.
Looking Back, Our Soul Journey Becomes Evident...

Most everyone knows how a bucket list works and it is an empowering thing to do at any age. I suggest you do so while you have the physical means to enjoy yourself as you tick off all those things on your list.

I started mine recently, then I realized everything I put on it, I had already done in some form or fashion. I couldn't think of anything that called strongly to me or teased me toward exciting achievements or accomplishments. I think the idea of listing possibilities or goals for the time we have left on earth might be an amusing thing to do; but my list seemed more like a mandate to me, rather than a list of dreams. So, while it was fun at first -- and over all, a very nice idea -- I wondered to myself if it might be more interesting to make a list of all the places I have been? Or all the things I have done? Or all the treasures I have collected along the way? Or all the people I have exchanged energy with? Or all of the ways I have found the most extraordinary experiences?

In the past, when asked what I do for a hobby, I always replied, "I collect experiences." Now I wanted to remember them all and making a list was a deeply profound experience.

For me, the reverse bucket list was the list that has made the greatest difference in the way I think about the journey my soul has taken. In a way, making that list has defined for me what I could not answer in words or thoughts. First, I was so very grateful for my life path --so full of gifts and enrichments. But secondly, and most importantly, my past actions aptly defined my soul's purpose for me. That was the most surprising and easiest conclusion I have ever come to - and I wasn't even trying.

 In our spiritual life we sometimes make things more complicated than they have to be. There are teachers who can take us into guided meditations to find our soul journey or soul purpose, and they can help us through confusion about our lives; but if you make a reverse bucket list and find out which kinds of tides brought you to where you landed - right up to this very moment, and what choices you made, you will see an obvious pattern that cannot be denied.

Sure, we all have big dreams and intentions, and those come entirely from our creative minds; but it is the subtle evidence of our life purpose that is revealed by the continuous line we made for ourselves originating in the past and touching us right at this moment that have the ability to change how we think of ourselves and our life purpose. From experience, I can tell you...once you see where you've been,  if you don't like what course you took to get to this place it is not too late to make a change and set yourself free so you can set yourself on a different course. But let your reverse bucket list do the work for you so you can take steps that enhance your soul's purpose. That is the only way we will ever find contentment during shifting sands, rising tides or turbulent waters.

There is a place on the beach where I like to spend most of my time. I like the "left-behinds" that make up a ragged, messy line-up of living and dead flotsam from the sea. This is where I poke my stick and look around for treasures. It is much the same way with life. My reverse bucket list is like that beach debris. I see parts of my life scattered for miles. With each step, more is revealed about my unique journey as shown by what got left behind. I walk away from the beach feeling better for having seen those remnants of my intentions. I will move on, and I will not get stuck in limbo waiting for something - anything - to move me. I will not get carried back to sea. I will keep walking away from the past but carry gratitude for what gifts it provided to me. I see my reverse bucket list like that debris in sand, and I am deeply grateful I took all the side trips and risks and made it to various edges and plateaus, for I know with certainty, it is my soul's purpose to learn about life so I can tell others what I found and how they can find it too.  Looking back, my reverse bucket list showed me that I my soul has always been an adventurer and teacher, and now I can finally breathe gently - and own it.