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To Do

1. Soften.

2. Stretch.

3. Forgive yourself.

4. Be here. Worrying makes transitions harder. Replace scheduled worry with relaxing your jaw. Postpone feeling badly about yourself for lavender oil bath.

5. Have a glass of water.

6. Have a second glass of water.

7. Admit your powerlessness to heal or even please other people though your own pleasure can be healing.

8. Hang up your coat. When the season changes again, it will be where you left it.

9. Feed yourself. Shame, not a second bagel, will kill you.

10. Trust your gut. Information disguises itself as insight. Your gut knows the difference.

11. Pet a dog.

12. Unmask your smile – better yet - smile indiscriminately. It’s been a long time of not seeing mouths. Show your teeth.

13. Work hard. After Rita Moreno won the Oscar for West Side Story, she didn’t do another film for seven years; the roles offered pigeon-holed her. So she won two Emmys, a Grammy and a Tony instead; at that point the youngest EGOT winner in history. “She was working”, says Whoopi Goldberg (another EGOT winner) about Rita in the Moreno documentary. Talent works on what is, not on what isn’t.

14. Let go of something. A breath counts. Control is airless. Collaboration and trust oxygenate. Your nervous system is a room. Possibility – a sense of not knowing – is good circulation.

15. Drop the suitcase or at least open it. Unchecked luggage (aka the past) can form beliefs about ourselves and others that bury us alive.

16. Say thank you – in your heart and out loud. It is radical to be satisfied in a capitalistic, consumeristic culture.

17. Play. It’s how light gets in.

18. Take the picture of the dew on the flower. Let it slow you down. You need that. Cheryl Strayed says we’re allowed tiny beautiful things. And anyway they make you less scared of the vortex ahead. Beauty is mother tongue. It is fear that misconstrues. Both cover the unattended surfaces of our lives like dust but be pierced by beauty today. Hear her whisper, “tag, you are it.”


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