It’s transformative. Or it can be. Depends on (ahem) whether or not you actually commit to it.

As in, commit your mind fully and enter into the exercise of creating your list of things-you-need-to-stop-doing-because-they-do-not-make-your-life-better.

It’s not the standard “New Year’s Resolutions” deal. It’s way bigger. Or it can be.

It requires focus, serious thought, attention. Maybe even a bit of meditation or prayer and a great playlist ushering in some peace and tranquility while you work.

Oh yes, and it also requires that you step into the space of discomfort. Resentment. Pain. Because you’re going to need to look them square in the eye, without sugar-coating them in a layer of “there’s-a-lesson-in-the-pain”. There may very well be a lesson (and growth and personal transformation) in the pain, oftentimes there is. But we are not here to invite pain into our lives, no matter how transformative it may be.

Take a half-hour, an hour, or an entire afternoon. Sit with what hasn’t worked for you this year. Face the truths – your truths, that is. Grab a cup of Chai (or other) tea (or even better, a steamy tisane), a blank sheet of paper, your favorite pen, and focus on what’s actually real for you. Which may not be what’s real for me, and that’s perfectly fine. Because this exercise is completely personal.

And totally simple.

Write down your most honestly-honest list of the ten or twenty or five or maybe even five hundred (if you’ve travelled very far from authentic living) things that you need to stop doing.

Because when you stop doing things that don’t add value and joy to your life, you open up the space to for the things that do.

When you stop what’s not working, you (finally) find time for what will work.

Get honest with yourself (because there’s no other way to authenticity and true joy). Ask yourself what really didn’t work, what filled you up with resentment or weighed you down or pressed you hard into pain?

Think of these feelings, especially resentment, as a giant “STOP” sign.

Especially resentment. Because resentment does not work, will never work, is never authentic, and is never-ever-ever the way to joy. You cannot transform resentment into anything beautiful. Resentment goes right onto the stop-doing list, along with any and all of those things that cause you to swim in it.

What’s on your stop-doing list?

Mine includes:

1. Asking for everyone’s opinion (especially those who haven’t demonstrated loving-honesty in the past).

2. Keeping my phone on 24/7.

3. Fancy hairstyles (Seriously – is this how I want to spend my time? With a hair-dryer and straightener? I think not.)

4. Fancy cooking, except for special occasions. (Less time in the kitchen = more time with actual people).

5. Ignoring, avoiding, or denying negative feelings. (Best to feel them, let them teach whatever they’ve come to teach, and let them go.)

6. Throwing pity-parties. (They’re never any fun, and no one but me shows up to them anyway).

7. Hanging out with toxic people. (Because. Peace, right?)

8. Eating sugar. And white flour. And (most) animal products. (Because. Health, right?)

9. Demanding perfectionism. (Perfectionism is so 2017. It’s time to stop that.)

What’s coming off your plate in 2018 because it’s draining, aggravating, resentment-causing, or just plain distracting you from how you really want to live?

What space will you make for more joy, creativity, and authenticity this year?

I’m hoping it’s tons.


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