Thursday, February 20, 2014

Move away from "shoulds"

Do you "should" on yourself? Years and years ago my sister and I attended a conference where we first heard that term. The presenter encouraged us to stop "shoulding" on ourselves. This may hit us all where we live. I don't know. I know it really resonated with me.

How often do we do things because we think we should? Or think about things a certain way because that's how mature people should think of them? Or give up dreams we really would love to have pursued because we really should be more practical?

Perhaps it's time to follow your own passions, to choose your own path, to listen to your own life to see what's real and what's important to you rather than what you think you should do. Perhaps it's time to be authentic—to wake up to what's true for you.

I like how Jan Phillips speaks of this in her book No Ordinary Time: The Rise of Spiritual Intelligence and Evolutionary Creativity. She says, "Waking up is a process of finding ourselves, listening to ourselves, our thoughts, our bodies. ... We've been so conditioned to how we 'should' feel and act, that it's hard to separate what we 'should' be feeling from what we actually do feel. Waking up is the first step in turning that around. ... To be awake is to be constantly rearranging our inner attitudes, shape-shifting our thoughts as we become mindful of their power."

Develop awareness first of all—what are your thoughts, feelings, values, attitudes? Are they really yours? Or are they the result of shoulds? Once you're aware, you can make choices that are right for you. It's your choice.

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