The 'To Do' List Is Never Finished

18/04/2016 11:53 AM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:51 PM AEST
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Having taught meditation for a number of years and preached the benefits of being mindful and in the present moment, it has occurred to me that one of the greatest traps that we fall into is believing that there is some magic "end" in sight and that once we "reach" this magic point everything is finished or done and we will be happy and content.

Does this sound familiar to anyone? Do you ever think: "If only I get through the to-do list then everything will be okay"?

But then you realise that just as soon as you have finished doing one task, one errand, paid that one bill, got to that dentist appointment, something else will pop up that needs to be tended to.

How have we fallen into the trap of thinking that there is an end point to our learning or our experiences?

Holding onto this idea will only create more disharmony in your life and you will forever be searching for something that is simply not attainable.

Every day something new will pop up because that is life. Each day you will be presented with opportunities to grow, lessons to learn, chores to complete, appointments to make and the list will continue.

This is not a doom-and-gloom reality, it is simply life.

The joy and sorrow, the ups and downs, the busy days and quiet days. You may find one day challenging and the next day uplifting. The one single constant is that life is always in a constant state of flux. Change occurs. Day becomes night and night becomes day, seasons change, the tides change, our emotions change, our energy levels change, and the list goes on.

This means that if you are having a bad day, that too will change. Our bad day will turn into a better "new" day. Getting through a rough patch by putting one foot in front of another means that you are getting closer to changing your situation and bringing in a more agreeable set of circumstances.

This awareness not only brings me comfort but a quiet strength as well. I know that whatever I may be experiencing or "having to do" will come to an end and will be replaced by a "new" experience.

It is the natural flow of life, one cycle after another.

So how can we better manage our emotions or our outlook on any given day?

Find acceptance.

  • Acceptance in the knowledge that your life will always offer a variety of different experiences, emotions, people, directions, obligations, etc...
  • Acceptance that nothing lasts forever, change is inevitable
  • Acceptance allows you to emotionally move through things with more ease (i.e. if you are experiencing sadness, accept it -- acknowledging to yourself how you are feeling allows the energy to keep moving through you)
  • Acceptance will help you stay free of judgment. Judging something as good or bad creates disharmony. Instead think to yourself: "it is what it is". This will keep you emotionally detached and you will find that you are far less impacted and more able to think clearly and make sound decisions.

And lastly, find gratitude for the many gifts that you have in your life right now. Life is precious. Enjoy it now as there is always going to be things to do.


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