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These past few days, I have felt worried, anxious, and overwhelmed. In an effort to get myself to relax, to show myself how ridiculous the demands I’m making on my time and my heart-mind really are, I made a list of everything I want to do, everything that has to get done, all the shoulds and have tos, all the someday dreams and potential regrets. It was insane. I was writing and writing, and had to turn the page to finish the list, and stopped before I was really done. Looking at the language of overwhelm, written in my own loopy hand, my pen both pressed hard into the page and moving as fast as it could, I saw the full measure of my confusion.

I took a deep breath and wrote myself a new list.

Instead of trying, give up.
Instead of struggling, surrender.
Instead of doing and working, rest.
Instead of judgement, offer love.
Instead of worrying, be gentle.
Instead of hoping, be present.
Instead of fear, relax.
Instead of resisting, be open.
Instead of attachment, let go.
Instead of being sure, live in the question.
Instead of anger, tenderness.
Instead of overwhelm, joy.
Instead of becoming, be.