What Do You Need "To Do"? - This American Girl

panama city


I have always been someone who loves making lists.


Tracking the many tasks I need to complete

crossing items off of the list with a feeling of satisfaction

knowing what I have accomplished.


cartagena sea


I remember making lists

of projects to finish for clients

errands to run in neighborhoods all over town

people to call, to email, to meet

social events to schedule.


granada horse and carriage


And usually

if something was not on the list

it never got done.


leon nicaragua


In the process of constantly redefining my routine

on the road and in this little Caribbean jungle town

I have begun to truly examine the things I once thought

I needed “to do”


panama city


and began to notice

that the tasks and the busyness of the world around me

prevented me from focusing on what truly mattered.




My world inside that illustrates the world I see outside.


granada school kids


Do you make lists

of the things

that you need “to do”?




The mundane tasks

that demand your attention

because they simply must be done?


leon nicaragua


Wash the laundry

make the bed

take out the recycling

paint the upstairs bathroom

finish your weekly report.


cartagena statue


Or perhaps your lists go a little deeper.




Share a nourishing meal with the people that you love.

Stretch in the morning and move your legs in stride with your breath.

Lend your hand to the community around you.

Offer attention to the feet that carry and support you.


panama city gate


But do you ever consider

the things that you need

that are truly inside?


sea grapes costa rica


Do you ever make a list

when you need


sand crab costa rica


To regulate your breathing?

To let go of your past pain and resentments?

To release your fear of your future?

To reorganize your life into a routine that brings you bliss?

To connect deeper with your personal dharma?

To remember why you are here on this Earth?


driftwood costa rica


Because let me tell you a secret

you do not exist

to purchase toilet paper at Target

nor to track sales leads for a Fortune 500 company

nor to update your status on Facebook

nor to do dishes, sweep, and scrub.


Playa Chiquita


You exist TO DO so much more.


starfish bocas del drago


But do you ever become

so occupied

with the mundane tasks


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that the internal duties

the life changing missions

never even make the list?


playa chiquita beach


What if today, on this glorious sunny summer Monday

instead of a to do list of chores

you made a to do list of intentions?


costa rica volkswagon van


A list that allows you to check in with yourself

to remember who you want to be

and what life you want to live

even if just for today?


sunset in nosara


How could you focus a little less on the world that surrounds you

and a little more on the world within you?


sunset in pavones


Today, I will be making my “to do”.


Will you?


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