Queens and Kings don’t have to-do lists — they have I-choose-this lists, or I-will-do-this lists. If they are the monarch of an actual kingdom, they have a small army of staff who handle everything for them, so they can focus on their royal desires and duties. Their duties consist of things that only a monarch can do.
Yes, monarchs of actual kingdoms have desires, and responsibilities.
You are monarch of your kingdom — which consists of your inner world, and the ecology of your life. You probably don’t have 800 live-in staff, like Queen Elizabeth, but you can still choose what you say Yes to, and what you say No to, in your life.
As a sovereign human being, you have desires, and responsibilities.
Good monarchs rule through devotion to their soul’s guiding vision for their kingdom — which shines through their true desires. They rule by serving their people.
Your desires are the voice of your soul, guiding you to greater wholeness, presence, joy and integration.
Your people include your soul, your body, your mind, your feelings, your inner selves, your heart, your spirit. Your people also include your creations — those projects to which you lend your artistry, your power and resources, so they can be born and flourish. Your beloveds are your people too — family, friends, partners, colleagues, clients, as well as non-physical beings with whom you have a close relationship. Anyone or anything you welcome into your world is one of your people.
So take a look at your to-do list. Read it all the way through. It may be as simple as a list written on a scrap of paper, one that you keep adding to in your head, or as complex as a project management system. Either way, take a close look at it now.
Notice how your body feels, as you’re reviewing your to-do list. Are you taking full, deep, slow breaths? Is your breathing shallow, high in your chest? How about your hands? Are they relaxed and energized, or cramped and stiff, or something else?
Drop your gaze down into the cavity of your body, and notice where you’re holding tension or ease. Notice which of your muscles are clenched and which are relaxed.
Take a full, deep breath. Follow the air as it flows in through your nostrils, down into your belly, and out again. Another deep breath in, and out. And one more.
Notice if your thoughts have leaped forward in time and space — into the items on your to-do list, into later today, or tomorrow, or next week, or next month.
Bring yourself back. Back to your breath, back to this moment.
Your power lives in the present moment because that’s the only place where your body and soul can commune together.
Your body is always in the present. Your body can’t eat a peach yesterday, or brush your teeth tomorrow. Your body functions only in the now, so when you bring your soul into the now too, you reclaim your power, your reclaim your sovereignty.
Your senses help you to be present, quickly and reliably. Tune into your senses. Notice what you smell, taste, touch, hear.
When you feel present, straighten your spine, call on your inner Queen or King, and review your to-do list — as the monarch of your own kingdom.
You’ll need four pens or pencils of different colours for this next bit. Or, if you’re using a digital to-do list, use colored tags instead.
Put a checkmark next to each item on your list, using one of four colors:
A color for things you don’t want to do, that can be crossed off your list because they aren’t really necessary. (Examples: Bake 50 cookies from scratch for your kid’s school bake sale. Reply to every email in your InBox.)
One for things you want to do because they bring you joy, help you create something you love, or because you want to delight someone you love. (Examples: Buy 50 of the world’s best chocolate-chip cookies from your neighbourhood bakery for that bake sale, and watch your kid’s face light up as the cookies she brought are the first to sell out. Hand write a letter on thick, creamy stationery, to your best friend, telling her all the reasons why you love her, and deliver it with one of those chocolate-chip cookies wrapped in gold tissue paper.)
One for things that can be done by someone else — even if you don’t yet know who that someone else might be. (Examples: Clean up your kids’ rooms because you can’t stand the mess. Do the bookkeeping for your business, because you’ve always done it.)
Finally, one color for things that you are responsible for, that only you can do — and, that you’re ambivalent about doing (you want the result, but balk at the process) or that you feel resentful towards, intimidated by or reluctant to tackle. (Examples: Create that new program your business coach told you would “sell well” but that doesn’t feel like a true expression of your heart’s work. Give the talk you promised to deliver at that prestigious conference, but whose subject matter feels contrived and superficial compared to the deep message you truly want to convey.)
Notice how you feel, as you order your to-do list in this way, by using your sovereign power to choose.
Choose what you’ll say Yes to, and what you’ll say No to. Choose your true desires. Choose your sovereign responsibilities — those things you’ll do because they’ll lead to greater wholeness, harmony and integrity within your kingdom.
Now, let’s play!
Invite your entire to-do list to a party. Embrace each guest who arrives at your front door. Hang up their coats. Offer them glasses of champagne, just-picked raspberries, platters heaped with delectable confections. Introduce them to each other.
Bathe in the burble of their delight, the zing and fizz of cross-pollination. Which of your guests do you want to take by the hand? Sit down with, in a quiet corner of the garden, for deeper conversation?
Which ones move you, entice your curiosity, enliven your senses? Which ones enfold you in the musk of their skin, in the irresistible tide of their presence?
These are the companions your soul most wishes to take along on the journey from desire to fulfillment. Choose them, and your journey shifts from struggle to magic.
Explore your sovereignty more fully with my self-study program Rule Your World from the Inside Out: Sovereignty & the Art of Soul Leadership