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‘To Do’ Lists

By September 16, 2014April 22nd, 2020Articles, Read

We all have our ‘to do’ lists: chores to finish, projects to complete, people to see, places to go, to read more, to exercise more, to eat more healthily, to become more ‘realised’ or whatever it might be. But why is it that they often provoke such agitation, such impatience, such aggravating tightness?

Because we have come to believe that our happiness is dependent on completing our list of tasks, and so we yearn to reach that longed for goal. But this anxiety, this tension is so uncomfortable that we use more thought to escape it; thoughts which reaffirm that our happiness lies at the end of the list, which only increases the agitation which increases the yearning which increases the agitation which increases the yearning . . .

Before being caught up in the next cycle of thinking, what if we go deeply into that murky world of unwanted feelings—that antsy, edgy irritation?

As we open to those dancing energies, as the mental labels dissolve away, ‘discomfort’ is magically revealed to be none other than the pulsing, vibrating electricity of aliveness; and in vacating the confinements of thought, we find no boundaries to speak of, no reasons to escape and nothing at all to achieve.

As the longing and grasping naturally relax, joy infuses the scene, and suddenly it’s clear: the happiness we seek is not dependent on any attainment, but is already always here, is the very essence of our being.

And so the play of life goes on, along with all its ‘to do’ lists, but rather than our actions coming from the need to escape discomfort, they can flow as an expression, a celebration, of the joy that we already are.