As Westerners, our lives revolve around productivity, efficiency and accomplishment. We feel we need to deserve our pleasure or our rest. Perhaps it’s a christian legacy, or perhaps it’s the remnants of an agricultural society. In either case, the traditional Christians did not indulge in so much material luxury to soothe their hard work (or hardships) and the farmers understood cycles of nature and of life. We seem to have tipped the balance of work and rest, pain and pleasure.
In the film based on the book, Eat Pray Love, Luca Spagetthi says to Liz that Americans feel guilty for wanting pleasure or taking a break. This statement felt true for me and it got me thinking. What if I traded guilt for freedom? What if I found a way to shift my own thinking away from doing and more towards being?
Shifting our focus from productivity to presence enables us to take back our power.
Drop the To-Do List…Start a To-Feel List
Put down the list for a moment and stay with me.
Manifestation is made easier by our awareness, our presence in the moment.
Focusing our thoughts on recognizing and acknowledging feelings, and especially cultivating positive ones, helps us be in touch with what makes us happy, making it easier for us to manifest these moments and appreciate them on a regular basis.
Moreover, it puts us in touch with our inner worlds, allows us to shape our outside world.
Shape your interaction with the outside world. The idea isn’t the instrumentation of people or to manipulate other’s behaviour to suit your own, but rather to seek the outlook that most benefits us – and that’s an entirely internal process. We are refining our perception so that it best enables us to notice, cultivate and manifest situations that benefit us, for the greater good of all involved. The Universe responds to the beliefs we hold so why not make it a positive experience whenever we can?
Instead of making a list of to-dos that looks like this:
- buy groceries
- cook dinner
- clean dishes
- meet Josie
- go to the gym / pilates / yoga class
- book plane tickets
Try something like this:
- Feel great about my healthy food choices
- Cook dinner with love for those involved and those who share this meal with me
- Feel grateful for the meal I had and the clean kitchen I can cook in
- Take pleasure in catching up with my friend Josie
- Feel my body’s strength and flexibility in the practice of…
- Feel the excitement of the upcoming trip!
And if you want to take the exercise further, focus entirely on the feeling:
- Feel good about nourishment
- Make daily activities a ritual
- Feel great about my space
- Enjoy my friend’s company
- Have fun moving my body through sport or activity
- Give in to hope
The first list is entirely practical and focuses on accomplishment. The second list helps me visualize how things will go and helps me look for the positive feelings out of each of those to-do’s. The third list is very broad and yet, it’s challenging, because it can be applied to so many things or just as easily forgotten. That’s why it’s an exercise!
The last two lists, however you choose to use them, are examples of how I’ve decided to shift my focus from productivity to BEING. When I feel, when I’m in the moment, when I acknowledge where I am in my journey, I am alive. I am be-ing. I am.
How do you feel about to-do lists? How do you shift from productivity-thinking into simply being?