Letting Go of the List

Many people can relate to the never ending to-do list that repopulates day after day. From home and work responsibilities to after school activities, grocery shopping and meetups with friends, the list just keeps growing. Just as you’re able to complete one thing and (breathe) cross it off your list, a new ‘to-do’ emerges. So, is it possible to complete all of these items and still maintain your sanity? Probably not.

While that answer may stir up anxiety in some and frustration in others, fear not. Here are a few tips to help release yourself from the superhuman-strength hold of ‘the list’.

1. Cross Out Non-Essential Items: Since that list is likely already written, pull it out and read it over. How many of the items are essential? Cross out the things you can live without.

2. Delegate Responsibilities: Are you truly the only person that can complete the remaining items on your list? If they can be done (or shared) by others, cross those out, too. And don’t control the outcome! Once you’ve let them go, they’re no longer yours to worry about.

3. Let Go of the Invisible To-Dos: Although certain ‘to-dos’ never make it to the written list, they repeat over and over again in our minds. Practice letting go of the voice that constantly reminds you of what was left unfinished. Be proud of the things you’ve already accomplished and grateful that your body supported you through all of it. When speaking of yourself, use words of kindness and compassion, the same way you would with a dear friend.

4. Practice Qigong!: When Dragon’s Way Qigong participants first stand in our standing meditation, many often say, “I couldn’t get my to-do list out of my head!” However, with continued practice, the mind drops away and the things aching for your attention fall into the background. Although many responsibilities fill our plates (and our lists), knowing how to set them aside and create time to breathe and ‘just be’ is imperative.


Practice The Dragon Stands Between Heaven and Earth with Grand Master Nan Lu.

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