I used to should myself to death.
I used to carry around all sorts of heavy lists in my head about what I should be doing to be better than I am... To somehow reach some level of something that I thought would be enough.
I wrote a lot of those lists down... daily/weekly/monthly to-do lists, priority lists, dream boards, vision statements, personal missions, motivational messages, meditations, PPTPAs (positive present tense personal affirmations), mantras, resolutions, sticky
note reminders, thought-maps, SMART goals, gratitude jars, journaling. And there were many, many more.
I read tons of books and took lots of courses that told me what lists to create and how to create them, and how incredibly important
they were. They told me how a worthwhile or purposeful or fulfilling life couldn't be lived without them.
I got so good at it, I even began teaching people how to create lists. (God, please forgive me! LOL!)
I created NEVER felt light or fun or joyful or motivational. For me, all the list-making and affirming, just kept documenting ALL the ways in which I wasn't yet enough.
My lists of lists, and the lists themselves were endless.
One day those lists got to be too heavy. I couldn't carry them anymore. I couldn't breathe.
I was crushed under the weight of them.
In that surrender to my "complete and utter
fucked-upness", something new occurred to me... I looked up to see that despite ALL my decades of unmanifested shoulding, my life seemed to be happening anyway.
There was plenty of food, plenty of shelter, plenty to wear, plenty to do,
plenty to see, plenty of work, plenty of relationships, plenty of events, plenty of experiences, plenty of adventures, plenty of good, plenty of bad, plenty of LIFE.
With my head down, always focused on the lists, I just couldn't see what
was right there, right in front of me all along.
My lists were all about lack, while my life actually being lived was all about abundance.
Despite the navel gazing angst of my inner world, at a significant level, my
outside world was just fine... and in fact, well beyond fine.
I have mostly stopped making lists.
They still appear in my head, but I now know where they come from and what they feel like, so I don't get as fooled
by them anymore.
And you know what?
Life keeps happening anyway. I couldn't stop the complete and utter abundance of it... even... if... I... wanted to.
The only list I have now, is this... stop
making lists, stop comparing, stop counting, stop measuring, stop goal-setting, stop manifesting, stop divining, stop adding, stop collecting, stop reaching, stop visioning, stop dreaming, stop doing, stop buying, stop getting... just STOP... STOP... STOP.
Stop creating all the lists for yourself, and while you're at it... stop creating lists for everyone else too.
Underneath all the mountainous lists of lack, the incomprehensible, plentiful abundance of life rests quietly
and patiently right there, waiting to "roll out in ecstasy at your feet".
Just stop for a moment. And look.
And by the way, don't even attempt to think about making a list of all the things you're looking at.
That alone is not only well beyond enough... it is EVERYTHING.