A few weeks ago, I was racing out the front door with too many things in my hands and I shut the door. Instantly I knew I didn’t have my keys. Crap. Should I call Brian? I knew that if he came back, he’d be late for an important meeting that he was facilitating. Neighbor? No one has our key. I had an appointment – and I was late.
I sat on the steps for a moment and surprisingly, I started to tear up. “Pull it together, Lisa,” I said to myself. “What’s the big deal?” I said as I started to judge myself.

Isn’t this what we do when these moments of feeling broken arrive in our day, unplanned, and seemingly unprovoked? A word someone says sounds off putting. A gesture your partner makes leaves you feeling “not seen.” You drop off your kiddos at school and you feel a quiet sadness swim across your heart. And you say, “Pull it together?” or “What’s that all about?” But there’s something we can do in those moments of self-judgment…keep reading!

I called Brian. “I’ll race back and open the door,” he said.

But I didn’t want him to race. I’m sick of racing. I don’t want anyone in my family or anyone in this world to have to hurry – to amp up their nervous systems and stress out their adrenal glands.

With my face in my hands, I heard from within me, “I’m holding too much.”

I paused. Yes, I’m holding too much.

How many of us hold too much? Too much trying to get it all perfectly aligned, the kiddos getting along perfectly, a perfect meal schedule for the week? How many of us hold too many commitments? How many of us hold too much of other people’s stuff? How about running around too much?

In the moment I saw I was holding too much, that inner voice, that whisper of deep truth that you can’t deny, rose up from within me and I heard her loud and clear, “Hold only what matters, dear heart. Hold only what matters.”

Hold only what matters.

What matters?

It’s not trying to get it all perfect – sound perfect, cook perfect, parent perfect, have a perfect plan for…everything. It’s not being strong and “pushing through.” It’s not denying these “little griefs” that flood our hearts in the middle of running from one thing to the next. It’s definitely not hurrying.

Hold ONLY what matters.

I didn’t hear “Hold what really matters AND the crap that doesn’t.”

I heard, “hold ONLY what matters.”  I felt the invitation (or swift kick in my behind) to sift out the stuff that doesn’t and stop doing it. Or limit it. Get focused on what does matter.

What do I need to hold? What really matters today?

Being true to my own heart. Pausing when my kiddos are around and looking at them. Letting go of old habits of relating, holding back, feeling “I’m in this all alone and it’s all up to me.” Shining – yes, shining. Writing the poetry on my heart. Eating nourishing foods. Making time to talk with my mom. Honoring my body and taking a nap this afternoon. Moving my body. And slowing down.

This is holding only what matters.

That’s a day well spent. That’s a lifetime well spent holding only what matters.


Dear ones, what if today you decide to “hold only what matters” and get rid of the other stuff?

The first thought might be, “but I can’t! I have to……” But ya know what, we CAN start looking at our lives and saying, “yes, I can.”

There are times when dinner matters – but getting it perfect doesn’t.

There are times when getting the dishes done matters – but doing that ALONG with trying to attend to 8 million others things doesn’t.

There are times when going grocery shopping matters – but doing it at a sprint doesn’t.

Let’s encourage each other to start making more time for holding only what matters – like pausing in our day, quitting the whole multi-tasking thing we are all addicted to, spending time just listening to our hearts, and spend time focused on our dear ones – really seeing them.

Here’s to holding ONLY what matters in YOUR life!



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