3. Evaluate your “to do” list. Make a list of ten things you have to do this week. Next perform what I call a body scan. Notice how your body responds when you imagine doing each of these things on your list. Does your body feel tense? Do you feel a pit in your stomach? Focus on the task that brings up the most pain, and ask yourself why you are planning to do this thing that causes you to feel anxious or stressed. If the answer is “I have to,” then you set yourself up to be in a completely helpless position. There are no alternatives when you operate from that principle. If the answer is “I choose to do it because if I don’t it would be morally repulsive,” you come from a more powerful place and one of choice.Tapping into choice is so very powerful. Try practicing total abstinence for a while from saying "I have to..." and just notice how that changes your experience of anticipating what you are obligated or committed to doing. There's always some choice in the picture. Waking up to the existence of that choice is a way of empowering and showing compassion to ourselves as well as others.