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Dear friends, I don’t know about you, but I love lists. I love the act of taking a blank piece of paper and filling it with every single detail of the day with the anticipatory delight of crossing off everything one task at a time. Sometimes I add things to my list that I have already accomplished just so that I can cross them off. It just feels that good! Here is a glimpse of today’s list: Set intention Write blog Feed and water chickens

Wash sheets Vacuum/do floors Empty dishwasher Clean bathroom Laundry Write and mail Valentine’s Connect with Kelly about signs Miles’ basketball game Restorative yoga workshop Workout Visit mom and dad Call Aunt Bubba Work on taxes Plan next week’s meals Bake cookies for tomorrow’s gathering (follow this link because YOU are invited!) Pretty exciting day, huh?! I went walking yesterday with a great friend who I haven’t seen in awhile. She shared pieces of her life as we were catching up; acknowledging the abundant responsibilities of parenting young-ish children with joy and delight; mentioning the demands placed on her to be all things to a handful of people with honor and privilege; speaking to the incredible challenge just to carve out the tiniest space for herself with frustration and confusion. This story is echoed by so many women these days. As we walked, I wondered, where are YOU on your to-do list? Seriously, if we can carve out time to do so many things for so many other people, why it is we struggle to take a moment, or a few moments for ourselves? In lives where we care for so many, how is it that we keep neglecting to care for the one person who makes all of that possible - US? My mom is sugar in the form of a human being. She is loving and kind and generous. She gives and gives and gives and gives some more. She and I talk a lot about Choosing Wholeness. In a recent conversation, I asked her how she takes care of herself. She said, ‘Well, Dawn I eat three meals a day.’ I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. Eventually, I said something about this being a good start because mom equated taking care of herself with her basic needs. Though often neglected, self-care is a need that is essential for a healthy, whole, and delight-full life. Just like my friend, my mom, myself, so many women, and perhaps even you, we struggle. We struggle to know how to prioritize taking care of ourselves while caring for others. We struggle to give ourselves time when our days are so full and our demands so high. We struggle to believe we are worthy of the investment that self-care costs. We struggle to meet our own needs before meeting the needs of others without judgement. We struggle to ask for the space that we need in order to care for ourselves. We struggle to add one more thing on our already-over-flowing-to-do-lists even if it would be good for us. I keep imagining talking with my 1-year-old niece, Marley, in the future and her not even knowing these struggles because we as women little by little, begin to consciously choose to integrate self-care in our lives, beginning by putting ourselves on our to-do lists. I know this is possible because I used to not be anywhere on my to-do list and today alone, I will be taking care of myself in a handful of different ways, none of which feel undeserved or excessive. All of which take a little bit of effort and have an incredible ripple effect in my life, the lives of the people around me, and the world. Try this, make a list of all the things you would like to do to more actively take care of yourself. Keep this master list handy when you are making your daily/weekly to-do list. See if there is one thing (or maybe go crazy and add two) you can do each day to begin to practice self-care. Little by little, let’s add ourselves to our to-do lists and watch to see the difference it makes. Always, Dawn

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