“Don’t push the river, it flows by itself.”
― Collective Wisdom
“There is no need to push life about…”
― Nisargadatta Maharaj
If there are a perpetual 500 things on your to-do list, this leaves no room for desire.
I am deeply learning this lesson, which popped up for me recently when sickness and exhaustion forced me to stop.
Oh sickness. Such a good teacher, every time.
I stopped working early one day last week, and I could feel my body and self enter a whole other way of being, just by completely 100% setting aside my to-do list.
I could feel desire, what I wanted, and what would connect me to myself.
Even though I had “tons to do,” I tapped into the trust that all would get done at the right time. And if it’s going to drive me to sickness, why am I doing so much anyway!?
Even if you feel like your passionate worker, life-consumer, do-aholic self is in balance, it’s helpful to notice if you are “to-do” ing yourself incessantly in other ways.
This “to-do” ing can show up as should’s:
I should do yoga every morning
I should do an evening meditation before I go to bed
I should clean my bathroom
I should stop getting irritated with my friend
I should be skinnier, curvier, stronger, etc.
This becomes a list of to-do’s that are constantly running in your subconscious mind, which can be quite aggressive towards your system.
Or… do you find yourself repeatedly saying “I have so much to-do!”
Every time you say that, you are reinforcing the reality of having “so much to do,” the accompanying overwhelm, and all of your same patterns and reactions around doing.
This can keep you in the cycle of resonating with overwhelm or drowning in your to-do’s.
But your mind says, “I have so much to do!”
There will always be so much to do, guaranteed.
To really let something change, we have to make a different choice.
What if this week you let yourself stop subscribing to the statement “There is so much to do”?
As an alternative, you could try saying “This is what I’m doing” and then do it fully.
You might find that the to-do list gets accomplished with a bit more ease and focus.
And when your body is calling out for you to stop the “to-do” ing (my case in point), can you listen, trust, and not repeat the same pattern?
Set down the to-do list!
(Bubye to-do. Just say No. Not even gonna look at you.)
Rather than seeing this as neglect, you are choosing to fully respect your deepest self.
This leaves space for sensing and feeling what you actually want, which is the most important compass for navigating through your life.
I wish you much pleasure, ease, and new discoveries in trying out these options if this is an issue that resonates with you. It can be scary to let go of those to-do’s!
Please feel free to share this with a friend, and if you have a question or comment, post it on the blog and we can keep the conversation going.
As always, if you want to go deeper, book a session.
It is a gift to work with you.
This speaks right to my heart! Thank you so much for this! There’s a certain kind of violence and self-harming in the incessant “to-do’s”… I think I’ve always known this at some wiser level. Thanks for putting it into words so beautifully!
Hey Clare! You’re welcome, and thanks for commenting. Yes, it’s so true. We can give ourselves the gift of not bossing ourselves around on this subtle level. Your wisdom is spot on!