I often start my day by reviewing, adding to, and editing my to-do list. This is a list of tasks I have outlined for myself about what I should and should not accomplish on any given date or week. I often end my day by reviewing, adding to, and editing my to do list. A list of tasks that I did not accomplish today that I can accomplish tomorrow. Or the next day, or the next week. Sometimes tasks follow me for months as I transfer them from day to day to day.
My current day planner has a spot for my "to-dos" of the day. It is a simply structured list, detailing the top three things I expect to accomplish on that date. Each day of my week has a spot for three things to be listed and accomplished. What is hilarious to me is that there are only spots for three things on that list-only three "to-dos". So, naturally, instead of honoring the suggested maximum number of tasks a human should attempt to accomplish in one day, I add tasks onto sticky notes that are added into my day planners. I write lists of things I should accomplish within the scheduling portion of each date. So having to do three things in one day is not enough for me-oh no. I insist on completing a multitude of tasks daily-often beyond the hourly capacity within a day. And these tasks do not even begin to encompass the tasks I expect myself to complete daily-without those tasks ever being written down.
But I am not my to do list. I am not a to do list. I am not only what I can do. I am not only what I can accomplish. I am not only my expectations. I am not a to do list.
I am not the 10,000 steps I have arbitrarily decided I must step in a day. I am not the 3,000 ml of water I have decided I should drink every day. I am not the warm water with lemon I have decided I should drink every morning. I am not the ten minutes I do or do not meditate in a day. I am not the seven hours of sleep I have chosen as the perfect amount of rest, regardless of the day or how my body is feeling. I am not the ten flights of stairs my FitBit has indicated I should climb on a daily basis. I am definitely not the twenty minutes I have required myself to be "active" on a daily basis.
I am not the forty five emails that I have unanswered in my inbox, five of which are flagged as 'important'. I am not the three voice messages I have saved in my voice mail to reply to later. I am not the blog post I have decided I should write once a month. I am not the email newsletter I have tasked myself with releasing monthly. I am not the thirty-five hours a week I allot to completing and engaging in research. I am not the Instagram posts I expect myself to post three times a week.
I am not my to do list. I am not a to do list. I am not the summation of the check marks of tasks I have or have not completed on a daily basis on a list that never ends, that is never completed. And never results in me feeling satisfied.
Instead, I am loved. I am content. I am uncertain about the future-my own and our shared future as humanity. I am awestruck by the power of nature. I am joyful. I am courageous. I am adventurous. I am reflective. I am curious. I am inspired. I am outspoken about topics I believe in. I am supported by my loved ones. I am resilient. I am creative. I am amazed. I am connected. I am passionate. I am brave. I am awake. I am strong. I am compassionate. I am kind. I am in wonder. I am divine. I am worthy. I am enough. I am. I am. I am.
I am more than the summation of my to do list. I am more than my expectations for myself. I am more than an arbitrary list of things I should or should not complete on a particular date. I am. Without description, without contingency, without assumptions, without expectations. I am.
Our thoughts have great power. Our self talk has great power. When we repeat the same phrases over and over again, consciously or unconsciously, we create truth. If we are repeating thoughts about ourselves that are kind, we create a truth that is kind and compassionate. If we are repeating thoughts about ourselves that are unkind, we create a truth that is unforgiving and harsh.
How can you shift your thoughts to encompass the reality of who you are? Because, without a doubt, you are not a to do list.
In darkness and in light,