I used to be a notorious list user. I had lists of what to do today, short-term lists, long-term lists, lists of goals, master lists — and the list goes on and on. But what I noticed was that my lists were consuming a considerable amount of time. I had to write the lists, review and check off items on the list, rewrite lists, find the list, and on and on. When I thought of something I wanted to do, I would make a mental list of what to do first. Something always had to be done before I could to something else. Things ended up on another list – basically, the proverbial back burner.
These lists also kept me out of present time. While I was reviewing the lists, I was in the past. While I was creating the lists, I was in the future. Since I’ve learned that we can only create from the present, being out of present time was not really working for me.
Finally, one day when I was so overwhelmed and frustrated with so much to do and couldn’t even find the lists, I sat down and, instead of crying, I got very quiet. I knew I had to prioritize. What was the most important thing I needed to do? In business, it’s usually the thing that is closest to the money. I sat quietly with my eyes closed until I got an answer.
My first reaction was to wonder where to put it on my list – should I prioritize this? I had to stop myself and say “No! Just do it!” I hurried up and did just that one thing. Then I sat quietly again, and the next answer came and I did that. Before I knew it, I was able to breathe again. I was fascinated by this new-to-me process. And I was amazed at how much I was getting done — all without a list!
It has become my ongoing practice to get quiet and just listen for what’s next. It takes practice to learn what is your personal truth. That’s not to say I never use a list any more. I write down goals occasionally and sometimes will bring a list to the store, but I’ve found a balance between being enslaved to lists and having a gentle reminder to refer to.
If you are a busy mother and find that you are last on your list, stop for a moment and listen to what is the most important thing you should be doing next. Are you ignoring the answer that says to take care of yourself? To lie down and rest? To go for a walk? To ask for help? Don’t let your light grow dim. Remember your radiance. Women are a huge part of the new paradigm shift. We need you.
Everyday we make time to eat and sleep. Taking time for quiet is equally important, even if it’s just five minutes.