As I was driving home from a week’s vacation, the Maine traffic still light and my favorite landmarks still in place after forty years, I thought, “This is great, I haven’t made a single “To Do” list all week.” After I’d said this, the traffic thickened, tangled, roadwork cut off lanes and cars braided themselves, weaving in and out, and on top of this, it was as if I’d opened a gate in my brain and the “To Do” items came out, about ten per mile for awhile.
After they’d emerged in great numbers, I realized there was an advantage to getting them out of my head and onto paper. Now they were swarming, enlarging and dominating my thoughts because I couldn’t write them at sixty-five miles an hour, both hands on the wheel.
I’d make a list as soon as I stopped for gas. After that, I could forget it for the rest of the drive. At home I could breathe into each one before I began. “Pay the Bills” . . . five in- breaths and five out-breaths. Then, I would pay the bills, or if I was still resisting, practice more breathing . . . another set of five.
If some “To Do’s” were very challenging or upsetting, I could breathe my way into inner stillness (10-15 minutes) to rest before I began the particular “To Do.”
I could also be reasonable. “ OK, I’ll do three (six, twelve . . .) ‘To Do’s’ today.” And, I could insert “Do Something you Love” in the middle and at the end.
To be continued . . .