Thursday, September 29, 2011

Deciphering the Shoulds

Loving ourselves and life from where we are 

Until I decide I won't, I am penning, these blog posts in support of my ongoing sacred journey course,“Creating a Life of Contentment,"  which began Sept. 15. For one entire year, we'll be traveling together as intimate companions: to relax, let go and rest into Love; to discover the bliss of our own life. I hope you will join me here! You can learn more about the program there. 

Deciphering the Shoulds

In our “Creating a Life of Contentment” course, we’ve been talking a lot about the “shoulds,” probably because there are so darn many of them!

I know I certainly have my share.

Though this morning, as I sat in the silence, thinking about the day ahead and where I would place my energy, one particular should came to mind.

“You should make sure you meditate today.”

It’s true. I should. This is the voice of my Wise Self speaking to me. I know from experience what she sounds like because her tone is light. It resounds with healing energy. And it guides me toward something that would be very good for me.

She also speaks with very little pressure. No guilt. Just a gentle sigh of understanding if I choose not to answer her call.

Not all shoulds are bad and to be negated. Some rise up from within us to remind us of what we could do to be more loving, generous, or forgiving ... just to name a few. I often think of these good shoulds as healthy reminders.

These shoulds remind us of what we continually put off, ignore, or deny. They illuminate our excuses, laziness, or self-doubt. For me, the meditation should that has been raising her voice of late reminds me that I often do put off what would be  good for me and, instead, I focus on what needs to be done.

Self-care vs. being productive and getting it all done, handled and put away: A perpetual pebble in my shoe but one that eventually makes me so uncomfortable that I do rescue myself from its discomfort.

The last few mornings I have been heeding the call of my Wise Should Self. I have been meditating again, though I am feeling a bit unfocused so I am using some tools to help me get back into the groove again.

One is Susan Piver’s wonderful (video collection of) 10 minute sitting practices. They are short and sweet and do the trick.  (You can view one here.)

So how do you know when a should should be listened to or not?

Get quiet. Sit with yourself and ask the question: What is the energy behind this should? Does this suggestion feel like pressure? Is it pushing me toward something that may not be healthy, either now or in the long-run?

Or does this should have my best self in mind? Is it inviting me into personal health, harmony, or well-being? If you listen with the ears of your heart, you will know. You will know.

Trust that your Wise Self will speak loudly enough so that you can hear her.

Trust your self.

I’ve been trusting myself more and more and am reaping the benefits—especially spending more time in quiet. And now, a renewed meditation practice has emerged allowing me to be pleased and easily satisfied.


Who would have thought that a previously held should could become such a simple joy?

We’ll never know until we decipher and try ...

 ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

 Meditation is the tongue of the soul and the language of our spirit.
~Jeremy Taylor

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