Choosing a Better List: "Look At All The Powers!"

Do you ever catch yourself rehearsing the list of things going wrong lately? I do.

I can't tell if it's a pity party or my brain trying to make sense of the pain. Maybe I'm trying to get a sense of control when I feel powerless. Either way, I've rattled off the list so often that it's muscle memory. I name one thing and the next tumbles out and then the next. As if my brain is stuck on repeat.

This feels like a coping mechanism that isn't super healthy. It may be helpful during a crisis moment when someone is in shock. We repeat back to ourselves all that happened so we can wrap our minds around our new reality.

But it's been six months of pandemic and longer for our other pandemics of racism and climate change.

What do I think I'll achieve with the mental list making? It turns out, the more I rehearse that list, the stronger and louder it becomes.

My brain is stuck on that list. I'd rather be rehearsing a different list.

Last night, our six-year-old son sat on his bed during our goodnight moment and opened his beloved Mario Brothers book from the library. "Mom, look at these characters. This one and this one." Then he turned the page.

A hushed awe fell over him. "Wow. Mom look at all their powers!"

Then he turned another page and said it again, "Mom, their powers! There's so many of them!"

I smiled with the smile of a mother who has spent many minutes of her life listening to her son talk about his latest obsession.

Then my heart jumped at what he said. Look at all their powers.

Yes. If I'm going to rehearse a list over and over and over in this difficult season, I'd much rather make a list of all our powers.

Today, you have the ability to receive these things in your life:

- peace

- love

- rest

- gratitude

- compassion

- forgiveness

- renewal

- joy

- comfort

- hope

- a new vision

- liberation

Things from this list have given me focus and hope in these past months. But these are often not the list on repeat in my head.

The more I open my hands instead of clenching them in fear, the more I'm able to receive elements of this second list. But it takes intention. Focus. A little quiet. Connection with beloved humans. Palms up.

It invites changing patterns that constantly remind me of the first list. Yes, there is much to fear, to think about, to wait for, and to act on. But those things are part of our story right now. Worrying about them doesn't make them go away. In fact, we need more people showing up to the problems of our day in a grounded, intentional, creative and liberated way.

Palms up.

This rhythm continues to give us a structure to navigate this uncertain time.

Show up.

Pay attention.

Cooperate with God.

Release the outcome.

Want to hang out with me and explore the palms up path a bit more? Sign up here for more info on a new January cohort!

Here's to noticing the lists we make in this season. Yes, there are realities to be faced. Difficult situations to own.


There are lists of liberation to name.

There are powers you have access to.

There is hope that longs to find a home in you.

There is love dancing through every inch of your life.

It's waiting for you to notice it's still here.

Even now.

Palms up.