How many times have you used the word 'should' this week in relation to yourself?
How about today?
If you tell yourself there is a certain action you 'should' take, how do you feel?
When you take a moment to feel into the word, what comes up for you?
Is there a sense of contraction, closing down, resistance or rejection?
Or does it evoke something else in you?
Maybe you feel your inner rebel stirring, ready to tell that word and all the feelings that come with it to #@ck off and show it the door once and for all??
Our words have immense power...
They originate in the mind as a thought, and these thoughts have the capacity to bring us down or see us shine bright.
If we knew that these thoughts were pure energy, and if we were to truly believe that we were powerful manifesters - magicians of making things happen - then don't you think we would be more mindful to which thoughts we gave our attention and what words we allowed out of our being and into the all-giving Universe?
You would think so right?
Alas for most of us it isn't as easy as that. Years of conditioning means that certain thoughts are deeply ingrained in our psyche and it can take tremendous effort to change these patterns.
But we CAN do it...
The 'should' epidemic is rife in our current paradigm...
I say it, you say it - we all bloody well say it!
Where has this pressure to conform or perform come from?
Sadly I feel it has been conditioned into us by a society that has it's priorities all wrong.
This is certainly perpetuated by the current cultural drive to 'suck it up' and 'get on with it'.
It's like there's an unwritten rule which all women learn as young girls.
We absorb ALL that we witness from those tender early years and then grow up with a whole bunch of 'shoulds' hovering over us, waiting for a perceived moment of weakness before they dive in and laden us with the effort of carrying yet another burden.
It's no wonder we are struggling...
We are so concerned about how we look or are perceived by another (or our own martyr self), that we have manifested mass guilt when we fail to live up to our unrealistic and unkind expectations of ourself.
This guilt slowly but steadily eats away at us from the inside out.
This feeling of 'separation' from another, rather than oneness leaves us trying even harder to live up to the 'shoulds' we impose.
And for what?
A show of strength?? To save face?? To feel proud and worthy??
This makes me so sad sister.
Sad for a society of women who never feel they are (good)enough.
Sad for the needless suffering that women put themselves through trying to prove to whoever is watching or listening that they can 'go the distance' by imposing rigid rules or expectations on themselves - thus leading to a host of exhausted, depleted, overwhelmed and sick sisters all over the planet...
When will we stop the sabotage?
When will enough be enough?
Part of my healing journey right now is about consciously bringing more unconditional love into my life every day, and during this exploration I have had to face off with my own self-inflicted 'shoulds' on many occasions.
Being of an inquisitive and curious nature - plus a keen advocate of self-enquiry as a means for self-knowledge - I am always undertaking new experiments on myself with an almost scientific like fascination to the outcome and results.
What might happen if I drop that way of 'being' and rest into this new way instead?
What would it look like to see myself as the expert of my own Universe and life - always knowing the best possible choice or path to to take just by tuning in to my own wisdom?
How might life unfold if I were to let go of all the 'shoulds'?
What I have come to know without a shadow of a doubt is that my needs are more important than some out-dated and antiquated notion society may have unintentionally placed out there as the 'bar to live up to'.
That being true to myself, though hard at times (due to old conditioning), ultimately leads to a more aligned, connected and bliss-filled life experience.
Honouring my inner wisdom above ALL else is the greatest gift I can give myself.
When I over-ride my intuition and carry out an action that I am under the misguided impression I 'should' be doing, then things generally go pear-shaped and I am left feeling empty, resentful and wishing I had taken another course of action instead...
When I create space, drop in and listen to the whispers of my inner voice, and then heed that voice, the 'shoulds' fall away into nothingness...
The energy expended on guilt, resentment, disconnection and the malcontent that comes from not honouring my knowing is then harnessed and used in a way that serves me, not drains me.
I know you resonate sweetheart...even if only a little.
Bringing mindfulness to the party has been the most profound tool I have encountered for letting go of non-serving patterns and creating new neural pathways that truly SERVE and nurture deep and lasting change.
So next time you feel the overwhelming power of a 'should' creeping into your biosphere, try the following and see what transpires.
Make sure you stay open and curious!
+ Notice the 'should' energy arising....feel it, watch it, be with it completely ( in other words don't try and pretend it's not there!)
+ Become aware of what is behind the 'should' energy.
- Who does this action serve?
- What is my inner voice trying to tell me?
- What are the consequences of not doing the action?
- What would happen if I follow my own truth right now?
+ Notice and let go of the guilt that will no doubt enter the scene as soon as you decide to honour your own needs over a 'should'. This energy doesn't offer you anything productive.
+ Explore this new feeling of deeper alignment that ensues once you have let the 'should' go.
How does it feel in your body? What emotions or feelings are there for you?
Each time you make a choice that is clearly telling the Universe that your needs matter, you are changing things on a cellular level within.
The more you let yourself feel the feelings and think the thoughts of worthiness and self-love, the easier it will become for this to be your reality in the world.
Remember, what we focus on expands, so becoming mindful of our thoughts, words and actions will create miracles in your life.
Is 'should' a word you'd like to ban too? Maybe you've already got this one down. I'd love to hear your experiences so please share your thoughts in the comments below.
May you be true to yourself...always.