Let me count the ways…..

When I get into a place where I’m rattling around
inside of my head,  lost in my anxious thoughts,
and long to flow from my heartspace instead,
but
I’m
stuck,
my go-to thing
to slip loose from the noose
is this:

I show up to make a list,
and this feels somehow like a trust-fall back into the flow.
There’s just something about the muse and motion of list-making
that soothes
my
noodle.

So a here’s a process share,  for especially when life can feel
like a slide into the upside down,
and showing up to gratitude feels thin
– maybe riff on some different questions instead.  Like:

~ list what times have I felt the safest;  what sounds and smells do I remember from then?

~ list what made me come alive as a kid;  what made me feel brave?

~ Think of the someones that you love;  imagine money is unlimited
and you have one moving van and can pack it like a freight train to send them.
List what goes in;  pack it tight.

~ Just by writing it down,  you can gift meals to people
for a few weeks.
Hand-delivered with love.
Imagine the menu;  what’s on the list?

~ What do you really want to leave behind after you’re gone;
list your legacy dreams.

~ list what makes your breath go all sweet and easy.

~ who are the people you want to forgive,
(even if you don’t want )
the ones for whom anger feels heavy.
How would it feel if the pain were swept away;
list the ways life may feel different.

~ What do you want to be like at 80.
List the things.

~ What are your dreams/hopes/prayers for someone you love.

~  list every wild,  brave,  fear-defying adventure you’d still like to take.

~ list every time you’ve felt stuck,  even trainwrecked,  and something shifted.
Hope happened.  Wind filled your sails again.
Remember and celebrate.

So list-making is my weird little life hack.
Makes my belly grin peace again
to help my creativity wriggle free.
It’s how I get my groove back
when I’ve gone listless:)
(sorry)

“Astonishing material and revelation appear in our lives all the time.
Let it be.  Unto us,  so much is given.
We just have to be open for business.”
– Anne Lammot

(Congratulations to artist and blogger Suzanne McRae – I drew your name for the giveaway.
I’m sending some love in the mail.
Offering up another giveaway of a handmade art journal
and some note cards and handwritten love.
This post is more tutorial – a little leap for me.  Strange times nudge new ways.
Thanks for reading along; leave a comment and I’ll plunk your name in the hat
with a whole heap of love.

Comments

  1. What an absolutely delight to have had my name drawn in your beautiful and generous giveaway Jennifer. Thank you! Now I will be like a little child waiting excitedly for the mail delivery person to come to my door. 🙂
    Thank you so much… xoxo

    I found so much inspiration and hope reading your post. Thank you for your wisdom and all the ways that we can help make this world a better place for others, and to be the best person we can be and find ways to nurture ourselves. xo

    • It’s on a fast pony:) Should arrive next week.
      Thanks for your kind, kind words. Does my heart good:)
      -Jennifer

  2. Love your very different approach to lists.
    Mine are almost always ‘to-do’ type lists which I use to whip and berate myself.
    I need those lists but…
    And now my wandering mind is contemplating your own much more life affirming , hopeful, beautiful lists.
    Many thanks.

  3. I think the blogosphere just gobbled my comment.
    I love the different perspective you give to lists.
    Mine are of the ‘to=do’ variety and I use them to whip and berate myself.
    I need them, but…
    I will now go away and consider your much more hopeful lists. Your gentle life and spirit affirming lists.
    Many, many thanks.

    • Haha…..I can relate to whip and berate myself:)
      There is just something about my brain that loves the whole
      idea of making a list. So soothing. Maybe it’s the only time
      the right side of my brain plays nice with the left side:)
      Thanks for your shares,
      Jennifer

  4. You’re right when you describe the post as a bit of a tutorial — spot on. I am a list maker, much like the kind you describe. The daily one, no matter what, is the gratitude list. But there are others. I love the diversity of your lists — they’re really fun ones. And good artist prompts, too. Thanks for this. It’s a terrific way to start the day!

    • So glad you came by, Jeanie; thanks for your kind words
      and, yes, the gratitude list seems super important right now!
      Gratefully,
      Jennifer

  5. I love your lists. I also do lists. I have long lists of people and causes I pray for and the desires of my soul. Little by little my list grows even longer as the needs arise, just so I won’t forget. Of course, I also make to-do lists like Elephants Child.
    Be well with your soul and body and stay safe.
    Hugs, Julia

  6. Lucille Christie says

    A list s simple list will take away
    Loss in a brand new way, Right about now my disappointment runs deep and needs to be dug up to free me up to have new
    Dreams. Helping others surely takes the spotlight off ourselves and this is key
    To peace and freedom.

  7. Lucille Christie says

    I wrote in the above box by mistake and hope this will suffice for my response

  8. Lucille Christie says

    A simple well thought out list will take away the loss of deep disappointment that
    Needs to be released into the atmosphere to make room for new thoughts and even
    Dreams that I know not. Helping others
    When the quarantine lifts will uplift me as well .

    • It does help cleanse the heart palatte. And shift perspective.
      Big love and lift to you, Lucille,
      Jennifer

  9. These are great suggestions. I keep my ‘sweet’ list and it helps me look for and remember all of the good things in my life. Some days are tough and I have to work hard to find the blessing in the heartache. Stay well!!

    • I’ve loved your sweet list for years! It so inspired me:)
      Blessing and heartache – always the paradox.
      Thanks for your kind share,
      Jennifer

  10. Now this is the kind of lists that interest me greatly, thank you so much for putting this here and giving me ideas and a nice place for my mind to go.
    xo

    • A nice place for my mind to go – yes, I so understand that.
      A nourishing parking place. Somewhere safe. And scenic:)
      Thanks for your kind words and always friendship,
      Jennifer

  11. I am so happy to have found your website. I have a journal page you painted in nearly an instant about a year ago when you came to our church in Asheville. The page floats from journal to Bible to book and I love it every time I hold it. Today it occurred to me you might have a website and wah-lah!
    It is time to add splashes of color and light to my own journaling and you inspire me!

    • jennifer says

      So good to hear from you, Nancy; I can’t wait to talk and put name to face:)
      Hopefully we can play together with paints and pens again soon,
      Jennifer

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