Editor's Letter: Just Do It Already!

Lesley Jane Seymour on finally checking "Slow down life!" off her checklist

by Lesley Jane Seymour
lesley jane seymour in china image
Photograph: Photo, Seymour: Ari Michelson. Location Photo, Getty Images

I don’t know about you, but in my head I keep an ever-evolving checklist of things I want to do with my life—a series of places I want to see, experiences I want to have, skills I want to acquire—before I’m too old to enjoy them. It contains bank-account busters, such as moving to Rome for a year (to stoke the dream, I get drool-worthy European real estate feeds on my iPad), but also affordable fun, such as creating nostalgic e-photo albums for my kids’ graduations.

The big thing I’ve learned about my checklist is that, given the vagaries of health and life, I shouldn’t dawdle. So when I was in Africa (accompanying a cover celebrity on a humanitarian mission) and suddenly got the chance to hot-air balloon over the Serengeti, I went—even though I hate to fly. My reward: an amazing sense of freedom as we drifted silently over herds of giraffes and hippopotamuses.

My latest adventure began when I found myself at a dinner for Transcendence, a book about transcendental meditation by Norman E. Rosenthal, MD. His meditation mentor, Bob Roth, executive director of the David Lynch Foundation, offered to teach me TM, and I said yes. (He also teaches it to soldiers with PTSD and kids with ADHD.) Whereas mindfulness meditation makes me feel as if I’m being asked to wrestle my hyperactive monkey brain into calmness, this form of TM accepts that life is choppy and wind tossed. You simply dive below the waves and seek stillness at the ocean’s floor. Now I’ve checked “Slow down life!” off my list.

So consider this your call to action. I hope you’ll enjoy our writers’ adventures—and start checking off entries on your own life list. As you read, perhaps you’ll think, Why the heck not? Tell us below in the comment section what leap you’d like to take.

Next: Editor’s Letter: Living in the New

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First published in the June 2013 issue

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