Making Space


I recently sat down to create what some deem as a golden ticket to getting through their day, week, and life. I wrote out a “list”. People swear by it. Live by it. Excel by it……….so it has to work, right?

I did the perfunctory columns and listed out most pressing, least pressing, need tos, have tos, want tos, get tos, hammer over the head tos……this included work, chores, bills, training, family, friends, retirement, debt, wealth building, decluttering, home repairs, obligations, phones calls, meal planning, projects, vacation, loss, pet care, e-mails replies…(deep, gasping inhale)….because that is what happens when a pearl personality or INFP makes lists……everything internal floods out in a tsunami of thoughts and it overwhelms them even more! INFP folks CAN write lists, but it needs to be for things that can get them through the next hour or two…..we have to keep the rest of the portals closed! To find out more about your temperament check out Myers-Briggs, G.E.M.S, or a plethora of other personality websites out there!

So, what came out of that little exercise? Not this miraculous “Oh, yes! Now I get it! I have everything under control and will be happy in no time flat as long as I work through this list”. Nope. I learned that I have too many “have-tos” in my life. I even make the majority of my decisions on the have-tos AND on how the decision will affect other people’s have tos. And then it hit me………..

Too many have-tos in life can be debilitating. Forward motion ceases to exist.

“In order to be whole, I need to make space“. That means releasing some of the have-tos. The have tos that provide constant anxiety and zap us of strength and much needed joy……..must go.

So how do we make this space? I chuckle because this may likely require us to make another type of list (or for the more “internal types” like me, simply sit in the shade with a tall glass of lemonade and reflect) . Decide what your most life sucking have tos are and then feel what it would be like to not HAVE them anymore. Seriously, for a brief moment, I want you to think about how you would “feel” if they were GONE. DON’T think about how letting go will affect anyone else in your life…..think about how it will affect YOUR life.

Deciding to release the have tos is your first big step! Whether they are legit “these things have to be done” or self-induced have tos…doesn’t matter……..if they are causing you constant pain and anxiety then they must be removed. Formulate a plan that reduces them. That plan can mean total removal, outsourcing, living more minimalistic…….or how bout’ this…..simply placing a personal priority or two OVER other folks/the worlds priorities. Sometimes the mental mindshift of selfcare is all we need to create space again.

How awesome would it feel to do the things we want to do instead of thinking about doing the things we want “when all the have tos have been taken care of”?

For me, I think about how I would feel to be present in the NOW and not focusing on “the other things that HAVE to be done”. To hold my friend’s hand during scary times, to enjoy dancing in the bowling alley with my nephew (okay, so he wouldn’t dance and was silently pleading that I not do anything embarrassing), to sit on the beach with my parents, to bike through a new locale with the Wonder Twin, for the brother and I to participate in our awesome cousin cookouts, to sit in my backyard with The Pip and just stare at nothing in particular and just be…..

Making decisions that enhances YOUR quality of life is not selfish. It is downright mandatory and will enhance the lives of those around you (because we are more enjoyable to be around 🙂 Namaste, Baby!