STUDY Day 24—Empowerment, Joyful Expression of Me

I should lose 10 pounds.
I should take out the trash.
I should get a new job.

How does it feel reading those? Try these:

I could lose 10 pounds. I want to lose 10 pounds.
I could take out the trash.  I want to take out the trash.
I could get a new job.  I want to get a new job.

The word should is heavily laden in connotation with responsibility and commitment. It moves many into procrastination. Should may be used to accept the view or advice of others that is “best” for you.

Look at wanting to lose 10 pounds. Is it really best for us?

  • What protection does your current weight give you?
  • What does the effort to lose 10 pounds do to your current lifestyle?
  • What happens to your budget when you lose 10 pounds and need new clothes?
  • How else are you altering your comfort by losing 10 pounds?
  • In what ways does 10 pounds keep you out of balance and meet other needs?
  • What if the popular look is not for you and you like the curves you have?

The power of the mind will keep you from doing what you “should” if the effort interferes with other comforts and needs. When timing and preparedness meet things are easy. If we are in this place of ease we do things because we want to not because we “should”.

Understanding the Should

Being aware of where should comes from, whose thoughts you learned and accepted and why, can be helpful. Even when the should is a personal want it does not mean it aligns with the full expression of you in this moment!

When you accept the “should” of someone else from their perception it makes sense and seems easy enough and yet application can be a struggle. Everyone looks at everyone else from their own perception. You can not possibly know what all the details are from their perception or what experiences make this “should” easier for them than for you. The way to make it successful is to examine it from a place of you, being the full expression of yourself and deciding what meets your needs and the needs of others, finding the win win.

What about when the “should” is something you want and can’t achieve? Try contemplation. See why you are in the way, remove judgment and attachment to how it “should” look and adjust your effort, timing, and preparedness to align with your wants and needs. As soon as you get the item, task, or deed in the proper light the effort to meet that need falls away and the resistance leaves allowing you to move without effort into the things you want for your life.

With losing 10 pounds contemplation may look like this: I should lose 10 pounds. I know the way to lose weight is to change my diet. Changing my diet means no more beer, deserts, or popcorn at the movies. What do these things mean to me? I want the beer to relax and socialize. The deserts remind me of home and Friday evenings as a kid. The popcorn at the movies has always been a special treat because I can’t get movie popcorn anywhere accept the movies.  Ah, all the things I need to change to lose 10 pounds take away comfort. If I take away my comfort will I  be okay?  I need my comfort more than I need to lose 10 pounds because of stress and other discomforts I have in my life.  How can I lose 10 pounds and still be comfortable? Every time in the past when I take away my comfort I end up needing it more and over indulge. I can try something new this time. Instead of trying to lose 10 pounds in a month I can lose it at a rate that is comfortable.  I can add things in like a short walk, or park further from work to increase my activity. I can stretch every hour to increase my metabolism. I can drink 3/4 of a beer or eat a medium popcorn more slowly. There are lost of things I can do. I can also work on ways to meet my need of comfort that do not include food. I can examine why food brings me so much comfort and release attachment to this in a healthy way. My whole life will be better and I will lose 10 pounds with ease.

Even though this is a simplistic example it can be this easy. When you see the need you are protecting the rest of the process is creating a plan that meets all your needs of safety, comfort, security, etc.

Exercise:

Sometimes you are looking so hard to find joy you look right past how you are holding yourself from joy.  With a few simple shifts you can open up doorways to your joy that have been closed for years:

  • treat yourself with kindness– when you drop something or do something unintentional pay attention to how you treat yourself. Use the same kindness you would use with someone you care for deeply. Letting go our our harsh treatment of self reduces stress and the need to be perfect. It gives us space for joy and humor.
  • stop not liking yourself-whatever brought you here is not real.  Take time to see what you think about yourself. Take responsibility for where you want to go instead of thinking you are where you have been.  The next moment hasn’t happened, create it as you want to experience life.
  • choose you-when you come up against the need to meet the need of others choosing you is not being selfish or always saying no. Choosing you is seeing if meeting their needs and your needs can be accomplished as a win win.

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