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Breaking the Influence of the "SHOULDS" in Life...

Lately, life has been hectic. A perfect storm of lots of things to do, coupled with some unwelcome chaos (including a dog who hasn't been feeling well). In the midst of these times, the first thing that slips for many of us is taking time for self-care and to do the things that recharge us and make us glow.

We know these things are important and we've all heard that we "can't pour from an empty teapot (or cup)." However, when we're most overwhelmed with things on our to-do list and the ups and downs of life that keep us guessing, we often put ourselves last. We PUSH OURSELVES to DO MORE and can be quite relentless and unforgiving of ourselves.

In the midst of my last few days, I could feel the need to PUSH myself harder sneaking back in AND I knew I wasn't recharging enough. Everything that I thought of that I NEEDED to do was often preceded by the word "SHOULD" and there were very few (if any) "I WANT TO's" on my list. It's not easy to catch before we've overwhelmed ourselves, so developing AWARENESS of these moments is the first step to handling them differently and catching them sooner next time.

So today, I DROPPED THE SHOULDS. If anything that crossed my mind was paired with the words or thought of "I SHOULD," I refused to do it today.

You're probably reading this and saying "well I don't have time to not get things done." However, the surprising part of what I did was that I got MORE done today than usual. By simply following the flow of the day, I got the important stuff done and with less energy than usual since I was going with the flow rather than pushing and fighting against guilt, expectations and any shame of SHOULDS or pressure that I was placing on myself.

I needed a day like this. And I know from experience that I'll be in a much better place to get more done as the week goes on because I gave myself (mind, body and spirit) space to just be in the moment today and go with the flow of life.

Now, take a deep breath in and out and reflect on these questions:

  • What SHOULDS are you placing on yourself (or should I say burdening yourself with) today? How is that making you feel (physically, mentally, etc.)?

  • What if you gave yourself permission to not have to be perfect? How would that feel?

  • How would your life feel if you could release some of that pressure that you're putting on yourself every day?

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