Last March after seeing Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, I wrote an article called "How To Reclaim Your Muchness." For those of you who haven't read my article, I'd recommend it; it's one of my favorites. It focuses on a brief interaction between Alice and the Mad Hatter that went something like this:
The Mad Hatter: You're not the same as you were before. You were much more... "muchier." You've lost your "muchness."
Alice: My "muchness?"
The Mad Hatter: [Points to Alice's heart] In there.
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, muchness means "the quality or state of being in great quantity, extent, or degree." In relation to the Alice/Mad Hatter interaction, the word muchness refers to something within Alice -- her heart, her spirit -- that she had somehow lost since the first time she had visited Wonderland. When you really think about it, in many ways we have all lost a part of our muchness. There is an essence to each of us that gets slowly chipped away at as we get older and see more and more of the world. Instead of growing happier and more excited by the things we see, we are often depleted and hardened by the world as we age -- which is exactly why it's so important for us to pay attention to our muchness, revisit it frequently, and, if needed, revise our muchness. You might be wondering:
What in the world does it mean to revisit my muchness?
Well, today I'm going show you exactly what it means -- and I'm going to show you how to take action when it comes to your own muchness. First, let's remind ourselves why this is so important: If we want to live our most positive, present lives, we have to know what makes our lives positive. Of course, there are some basics we all want/need -- food, shelter, love -- but, beyond that, do we really know what we want from life? How often do you stop and really think about that?
If you're like me, probably not as often as you should. If you're like me, you probably have a few vague ideas floating around your head -- things you would classify as your life goals or dreams -- but you haven't taken the time to really squint in concentration, looking around your world, and think about what is that you really, truly, deep-down-in-your-heart want for your life. In not doing this, you are ignoring your muchness and, as a result, you're probably not living the best possible life for you. Here are the steps I'm going to try to revisit and revise my muchness so I am living my best possible life:
How To Revisit Your Muchness
1. Reclaim your muchness. It is inside of you -- always there -- but often we lose sight of it. Get it back, as Alice did in the film, by reclaiming it. Start by answering the six questions in "How to Reclaim Your Muchness." The first place to begin the revision process is to take a look at what you originally believed your muchness to be. Below are the six questions:
- What did I like to do when I was younger?
- Why did stop doing (or continue to do) those things?
- Who did I think I would be when I grew up?
- How am I like that fictional version of myself?
- What attitudes and beliefs did I hold as a kid?
- How have my attitudes and beliefs changed?
2. Take a time out. Once you have answered the questions to help you reclaim your muchness, leave them for awhile. Put some space between them and yourself, and come back to them with a clear mind. A fresh perspective will help you when it comes to revisiting your muchness and will make your revision process much more effective.
3. Revisit what matters most to you. With a fresh perspective, take a look at your answers to the six questions about your muchness. Do you feel the same about them as you did when you wrote them? Do you have anything you want to add or edit? Try looking at the questions from a different angle and thinking about how they relate to the life you're living now.
4. Create a muchness plan. Once you've taken a step back and reviewed your responses, it's time to take a look at how your muchness is incorporated into your life now. What do you do now that you loved to do as a kid? What don't you do that you wish you did? Now, create a plan for how you're going to implement your muchness in your life today.
5. Take action as soon as you can. Once you have an action plan -- or, at the very least, a list of how you can incorporate your muchness into your life -- you have to actually take action. Don't wait until someday, or even tomorrow. Start today. Now is the time to reclaim who you once were so don't waste another minute.
Muchness may be an abstract concept, but it can have a concrete impact on our lives if we really put time and thought into it. Knowing you you were and coupling that with who you are can lead you to living a more positive, more enjoyable life. So often we get lost in the now and forget that there are parts of ourselves -- of our hearts, our spirits -- that may have been dropped along the way. That's not to say that our past holds any magical solution for living positively in the present, but it is an avenue to travel down periodically and take a closer look at. After all, the people we were made us into the people we are now.