Are you a planner? I am!
Do you thrive on that little thrill you get from crossing something off your to-do list? I do!
Be honest, do you add things to the list so that you can cross them off? GUILTY!!!
Do lists like that cause you to stress out? Sometimes.
Do you recognize the way planning for the future takes you out of the present moment? Absolutely.
We have entered a new year. Brand-spanking new, 2020 is here and we have the entire twelve months, 365 days to make something happen. Our entrance into uncharted territory can give us inspiration, depending on if we view it as a new opportunity – or it can create stress if we are intimidated by a long list of things “TO-DO”.
On a recent long car ride, my husband and I talked about this conundrum and may have arrived at an approach that can shift the way we view our to-do lists.
Basically, you change the name of your list from a “to-do” to a “to-done”. Bear with me on the grammatical incorrectness of that title, because I’m going somewhere with this.
Recall the feeling that creating a to-do list gives you. I tend to make them most often before hosting a big event at my house or preparing for a long trip. (These examples are where I’m most guilty of padding the list, just so I can cross stuff off) There are times when the to-do list allows me to calm down and see all my tasks clearly so I can begin to manage them and finish them. Other times, the overwhelming nature of the list causes anxiety.
But where does that anxiety begin? I believe it begins in the act of leaving the present moment. We don’t know what the future will bring, so planning, while a necessary part of day-to-day life, keeps us from being fully present.
One of my favorite yoga teachers used to begin her classes by calling awareness to our seated posture. A slight shift forward in the torso often represented anticipation of what the class would bring. She encouraged us to sit straight up, centering and being in the moment both in mind and body. This can also happen in a warrior two pose, an asana in which the position of the body is a representation of all three phases of time.
The past, is where your back arm and leg are. The present, is where your head, torso and hips are. Your future, is where your front leg, arm and gaze go. Standing in warrior two, we are symbolically connected to our past, rooted in it with our back limbs – we hold our hearts and minds in the present moment and gaze and reach forward to the future.
Recognizing this in seated and standing postures helped then and helps me now.
Regarding your lists, here’s what I propose.
Write out your list as you would normally do. Then write one stating each task as if you already completed it. Instead of saying that I have to do so and so (pick up ice for the party) write, I have done so and so (picked up ice for the party). By shifting it all into an already accomplished thing – you are sending a message – Law of Attraction-style to tell the universe you have received the future thing and are grateful for it.
All the best in the new year and in managing your “to-done” list!