What is Important?



What is important to you? Find that. Do that. Choose that.

Last night I attended a book event to celebrate a new imprint for a small publisher: Concrescent Press. Two people read their works, both of whom had been writing for self and friends for years. The event was held in a small temple space in Oakland. People volunteered to sell books and serve sparkling juice and wine. 

All of this came about because Pagan scholar Sam Webster decided he wanted to publish books – that making a certain type of magickal literature available was important to him and besides, he had languishing typesetting skills. Christine Berger decided at age 50 to start writing poetry to reflect and help her spiritual process. She posted them on Facebook for her friends. James Robert French works for an environmental protection agency by day, and writes and makes magic at night. The temple exists because the Blazing Star Oasis wanted a permanent place to worship, and a space to offer other spiritual travelers, so they rented a grotty old office space and transformed it, together.

All of these people followed what was important. They kept choosing it for themselves and pretty soon – as always happens – their choices had an effect on the world around them.

I know a parent who homeschools her children, raises chickens and vegetables, crafts, and preserves her own food in the middle of the city. She also is growing the arm muscles necessary to push herself up hills in her chair. I know a man who quit a lucrative IT career to go to nursing school. Now he works in the ER, saving lives. There is another parent struggling as she starts a new job that her soul chose and fought for, while trying to navigate fresh sobriety, a new school for her child, a new home, and a new relationship with herself in a brand new part of the country.

The struggling mother? She is reaching out for support and finding it. The super crafty parent? She is discovering that she does have the power to make it up a hill. Just barely right now, but it is growing. Plus, food is getting canned and children educated. The nurse? He is working long, hard hours, learning a lot, and loving being of service. The Temple, publisher, and authors? I know of a few of their struggles and their laboring, and last night, word got out, books were sold, connections made, and community alliances broadened.

They all continue to follow what is important. We can each choose to do this, every day. Following what is important isn’t always easy, but it is always true. Something in us says “Keep choosing this! Don’t numb yourself. Don’t run away! Move towards this longing. Take this action! Become more yourself. The world needs this.” 

Become more yourself. The world needs this. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll figure it out. You’ll find it hard. You’ll find it exhilarating. You’ll feel like a fraud. You’ll feel more like yourself than ever before. You’ll let people down. You’ll raise people up.

What is important to you? Find that. Do that. Choose that.



17 Responses to “What is Important?”

    • KH

      Congratulations to the guys doing good in the Bay Area!

  1. Beth

    Thanks for this. It got me all choked up. It seems like the central question of my life. Who am I? What is important? Did I choose the right path? Will I choose the right path? Is there a right path. I suppose it’s everyones life work.At my core I am creative, artistic, a writer and a dreamer. I want to make films, write novels, and make music, but I am getting my masters in social work because I want to help others, b a positve force for change, and help make the world a better place for my beautiful little girl. It all makes me feel very fragmented but maybe these things are only at odds with each other if I make them that way.
    Thanks for this post. Sorry for the ramble.

    • Thorn

      People often grapple with those questions in just this way. We get so frozen by the “is it the right path” or “will I do it right” stuff. That is fear and perfectionism, hand in hand. Paralyzing to our emotions and our will.

      How inspiring that you are getting your masters in social work!

      The question I would ask is: how much is your heart in that task? If the answer is “a whole heckuva lot!” I think that’s great. If the answer comes more from your head, “This is really good work to be doing” I would wonder…

      Meantime, is there any way to work on your masters and carve out some time to write or make art? I know a person who dedicates 10 minutes a day to writing. 10 minutes every single day. I know someone else who writes in the mornings before her office job, and someone else who writes at lunch. If the soul wants it enough, we can choose to do it. It is hard, I know. But it is also hard when our soul doesn’t get fed the things she needs most.

      I wish you the best with this!

    • tonyrella

      Beth, I am working on my master’s in mental health counseling and also trying to balance in my personal need to write creatively (and my childhood ambitions of being a famous writer-something!). I just wanted to say I feel you on the difficulty. At times I feel like the creative part of myself goes hungry while I am focusing on the other pieces of my life.

      I take time during my breaks between school quarters/semesters to read creative work that inspires me and dedicate time to writing. I have a personal goal of writing 500 words a day, and sometimes when I am in the middle of a quarter that goal gets fudged, but I have decided to consider writing a paper for class an acceptable option for those 500 words. Then when things free up, I switch back to working on a novel or writing a poem.

      I still confront a feeling of despair, a “what’s the point?” I don’t know what my future will be and whether any of this will “pay off,” and a part of me fears that I’m making some kind of mistake and wasting my potential. Like I “should” be focusing on one thing and trying to succeed in that in some traditional way.

      The world seems to be in such a transitional state right now. Everything is in such flux that I don’t know what “success” looks like. So I begin to suspect that my inner guidance is useful after all.

    • Starr

      I just wanted to chime in and say don’t rule out the possibility of those two wants being connected. Combinging writing, art, and social work can be a powerful force for change.

      Whatever your path, may you walk it with joy, pride, and love for yourself and all beings.

    • Starr

      I just wanted to chime in and say don’t rule out the possibility of those two wants being connected. Combing writing, art, and social work can be a powerful force for change.

      Whatever your path, may you walk it with joy, pride, and love for yourself and all beings.

  2. Fourge N.

    I love it when someone or something (God, my Spirit Guides, my Ancestors, etc.) will have something to teach me. Even more, I love when I start to pick up on my lessons as the “topic” will be repeated to me over a course of many consecutive days, sometimes a few weeks. This is the third time in two days that that question has been brought to my attention, asking what is my purpose and what is important to me, and what it is that I want to do with my life. I’ve asked this question since I was about thirteen years old and have never stopped. Maybe this time is different somehow. I think it’s time to listen… I think it’s time to sit ;^)

    Thanks, Thorn <3

  3. Soli

    Funny. Now that I have recovered from the stress and fatigue of the last few years I am re-learning and re-teaching myself how to prioritize. It’s too easy to get distracted by minor things and have them take away time and energy from what I really want and need to do. One technique I have been using is regularly writing down what my priorities are and using that list as a springboard. Little by little, it’s getting through. It helps.

  4. Jenn

    I feel like I’m slowly realizing who I want to be (and only just figured out, at 42, that I can *chose* who I want to be) and becoming that person more each day. This hasn’t been easy, for me and for those around me, who have known me to be something and someone else for all this time. Reading this post today is so timely and it helps to have people I respect write and say things that encourage me to continue down this path, when others are trying to drag me back down a road I’m trying to leave. I am very grateful for this writing today.

    • Thorn

      I want to respond to both Jenn and Kim here:

      Yes! Simply remembering we have choice makes all the difference, doesn’t it? And I agree that deep listening and coming to know our power underpin not only our growth and contribution as humans, but are the keys to all successful magic.

      Every moment we can choose, so what *will* we choose?

  5. Kim McDonald

    Excellent post Thorn. It is definately a message thst is needed right now. Our lives and society are changing. We can choose to live in fear, clinging to things in desperation, or, we can choose to be like the Hanged Man of the Tarot and accept the lesson of limbo. Then we can truly listen and realize we are not helpless, but very powerfull.

  6. CrowsFoxes

    Thank you, Thorn for this — much needed right now. For me, it is about the choices that I make, affecting what I can, trusting the Universe to supply what I need, when I need it.
    Peace to you,


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