I have a lot of lists lately – both in my head and typed up on my computer. Lists of things I want to accomplish and the habits I want to develop and change. I am refining, prioritizing and checking in with myself (and my husband as appropriate) on what’s important, why it’s important and how could I create space in my life to make things happen.

Yes, I am being very intentional about my lists…

In many ways, it feels brave to dream big,  dream about what matters most to me and I feel grateful to have the privilege of being able to do so. Yet, in some ways, I am scared to even say these out loud and finalize on my piece of paper (or word doc!), let alone share them with all of you. I thought it would be interesting to see what’s under the hood of these fears.

First, there is a fear of failure. Writing down a big goal doesn’t mean its accomplished😊 There is a strong chance it doesn’t get done due to a myriad of reasons and there are moments when that evokes fear. Then, there is a fear of judgment. I wish I could say I didn’t care what people think about me, but I am not there yet. The judgment of my priorities, my values and the way I am living my life. And then there is the attachment. Would I be less worthy of my own love if I didn’t get much done on my list? Will I label myself in unhealthy ways of not being good enough, not trying enough and all that good stuff? And finally, am I selfish? Am I not a good parent because a lot of things on my lists don’t involve my children. Carving out time and energy for my own needs can sometimes (not always) come at the expense of not giving to my children and sometimes that feels a little uneasy.

Yes, as you can see, the inner critic doesn’t go away and has no qualms about showing up uninvited to the party. Over the years, I have learned, she shows up and will continue to do so.

Thankfully, I recognize her when she arrives. I have learned to see if she has anything useful to teach me and very rarely she does and at those times, I thank her graciously.

On other occasions, I tell her – “I know you are here uninvited and feel free to entertain yourself. I am not interested in listening to what you have to offer.” I then invite my wise self into my circle and hold her even tighter as I feel scared, unsure, uncomfortable and unclear. She always has the right answers. And here’s what she had to tell me about my lists.

Dear friend –

Please make your lists, dream big, work hard with intention and awareness but know that you are enough and beautiful even if you don’t accomplish half of what you have on your list. Know that there will be failures – projects won’t have outcomes you have desired and habits may not develop as quickly as you’d like. You learn from them and start again with what’s needed in your life at that point. You can change what’s on your list mid-cycle. That doesn’t mean you are not committed or unfaithful to your dreams. Trust that you have the skills and wisdom that if your children (or husband, parents or close friends and loved one) need you more than usual at a given point, you will drop that event you were trying to host and that’s okay. It doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it means you are aware of the fluidity of your life and can prioritize appropriately. To the world, it may seem you are doing too much – exercising too much, reading too much or writing too much but you will know what’s enough for you. Make sure you ask yourself why you are doing something and focus on that brings you joy and not that which feeds the ego.

I love you!

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