Here is a journaling exercise from Marshall Rosenberg’s book on nonviolent communication:

Make a list of everything you “have to do.” (Example: “I have to wash the dishes.”)

Review the list, replacing the words “have to” with the words “choose to.” Add the phrase “because…” along with the reason that you choose to do the activity. Use the list of needs at the Center for Nonviolent Communication website to help you identify and understand the motivations behind what you do. [Example: I choose to wash the dishes because it helps me meet my needs for order and safety.]

In a month where we are playing with the kind promise “I will reinvent whimsically,” working with choices and needs seems perfect.

Consider your lists:

  • If what you do does not meet any of your needs, can you let it go?

If you think you “have to do” activities, you are a victim. There is power and strength in claiming your choice. I am reminded of Terry Pratchett’s witches declaring “this I choose to do…” I can imagine magic roiling up to add power to each choice.

  • Looking over the list of needs, are there needs of yours that aren’t being met?
  • Are there needs on the list that surprise you?
  • Are there needs on the list you don’t understand?

Choose one small thing that you could do (think tiny and frequent) to explore or meet a need that calls to you…