In my next lifetime, when I come back, I will ski more and worry less. I will begin every dinner with dessert, and it will be dark chocolate, or something gooey and coconut. I will choose dresses for color and not for whether or not they make me look slim. I am thinking yellow, purple, and butterfly prints in chintz. I will start using sun-block when I am 12, the same age when I will begin practicing yoga, because it makes me feel so peaceful and good.
In my next lifetime, when I come back, I will choose a comfortably upper-middle-class family to host my wandering soul. I've seen that great wealth imposes anxiety and demands of its own. Too little to work for ruins people. So does poverty, my old scourge. The lack of money--for graduate school, for good doctors, for guitar lessons, for the occasional porterhouse steak and soul-ravishing trip to Paris-- is one of the great evils that besets humanity.
In my next lifetime, and I hope the Earth isn't ruined before I make it back, I will play outside more, which can mean lying on my back beneath an oak tree and reading something luscious like Dickens or Yeats or a cheesy romance novel. I will spend more time staring into the sky and no time at all on a therapist's couch.
I will say "Yes!" more often and do the dishes only when they're piled up to the ceiling. I will turn off the TV but go to every sci-fi movie that opens. I will choose more friends who understand that I'm originally from the planet Xetron and that this beautiful blue and green orb is just a way station on my peregrinations. They will laugh more with me than at me and they will understand the value of spontaneous dance. I have only a few of those kind in this life. I miss them all the time.
In my next lifetime, since I'm not enlightened and I will have to return to complete the balance I will say "I love you" to the people I love: on the hour, every hour. Even when I hate them. And ely when they hate me.
In my next lifetime I will be the luminous me I always wanted to be now, and somehow fell short of. It wasn't for the absence of an open heart or effort. Rather, I tried too hard, and let gravity weigh me down. So in my next life, I will let my open heart lift, and shine me to everyone I meet.
Traci L. Slatton