Have to – Get to

I was in an on-line writing class and every day we were prompted to write something. Day Eight was this: “make two lists: have to and get to.” My newsletter in August will have an expanded discussion about language, how we use it and what opens up or closes down based on what we choose to say and the words we choose to use. For now, below is my (somewhat different from other blogs) way of illustrating this.

Here is what I wrote:

1. I have to eat if I want to live. I choose to live.

2. I have to breathe if I want to thrive. I choose to thrive.

3. I have to wake up if I want to show up. I choose to show up.

4. I have to meditate if I want sanity. I choose sanity.meditation

5. I have to listen to my heart if I want to live open-heartedly and free. I choose freedom.heart

6. I have to be present in my feelings if I want to contribute to others in this world. I choose to contribute.

7. I have to love if I want to be love. I am love.

8. I have to expand if I want to hold it all. I can hold it all.

9. I have to create if I want to be true to myself. I am true to myself.

10. I have to dance if I want to ascend. I choose ascension.dance

I don’t believe in “have to.” I believe in “get to.”
I get to:

1. Wake up every day…so far. Thank god.

2. Be with my children every day. Thank god.

3. Choose. Always. In all circumstances. No matter what.

4. Coach. People who want to change and grow and be fulfilled and contribute. How lucky am I?

5. Explore. Everywhere now and all the time – expansively, curiously, mindfully, playfully and so so gratefully.

6. Make new friends. Like spring. Like morning. Like flowers. Like wind. Like oxygen. Thank you.flowers

7. Watch and wait and be. Be present. Be happy. Be sad. Be all of it and none of it – sometimes all at the same time. I get to BE.

8. Wonder. And wander. Be in fear and be in love. I get to be in love. With him. With her. With them. With you. With all of it. I get to be in love with all of life however it shows up and I cannot even tell you the chill that runs down my spine when I consider the beauty of this “get to.” And the huge “thank you” that wells up in me.

9. Type random words that may or may not mean anything, but that reach my soul and pull out of me a pleasure and a warmth and a momentary comfort and a knowing and a longing and a satisfaction.

10. I get to choose the story I tell. I get to choose to see beauty. I get to choose to look for the color and the grace. I get to look at this world, our beautiful and tragic world. And I get to choose hope.hope

I choose hope.

As a coach, I believe inspiration and learning come from many many places. Recently mine has come from my writing group.

For those of you who are interested, Jena Schwartz is the coach I worked with in the writing group. Jena is amazing. She leads online writing groups oriented around practice and connection.

– Three upcoming groups are Mini Memoir (starts Aug 15), One Story: Ten Facets (also starts Aug 15) and On the Corner: Writing at the Intersection(s) (starts Sept 19).
– She’s a writing and life coach
– She writes an occasional newsletter called Fierce Encouragement (for Writing + Life), and blogs regularly, too

There are links to all of these things (as well as both of her books, which are excellent) on “the actual menu” page of her website:



About the Author

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Cami McLaren

is the owner of McLaren Coaching. She has been coaching professionals and leaders since early 2008. She runs Transformative Coaching Essentials, a coach training program that produces first rate Professional Coaches and "Coach-Style Leaders." She coaches individually and works with organizations to improve communication, time management, productivity and ultimately bring greater results.

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