Today my intent is to stay away from the “shoulds” of life. It seems that wherever I go and whatever I do, someone is offering me advice on the way I should be and what I should do. Or to be more specific, that someone is my inner critic. The voice inside of my head is telling me that I should take one last hike before the weather turns and that I should check in with my friend before she leaves town. Maybe in your life your inner critic is telling you that you should exercise today, or be with family, or put on a great end-of-summer party. It’s incessant – this voice of “should”.
But today I am doing things my own way. I am writing, I am with family and friends. I am working, but I am not allowing the shoulds to interfere.
“I am the boss of me!” I say to my inner critic. I know that there’s a message behind this loud voice, so I stop resisting and listen for a moment. Today my inner critic is taking the form of Perfectionist Patty, the name I’ve given to this particular tone of chatter.
I stop what I’m doing for a moment, close my eyes and imagine the should statement of Perfectionist Patty visualizing before my eyes as a bubble of colorful energy. Because that’s all a thought is – a big colorful bubble of energy. I “see” that energy bubble in front of me. I watch as it fills in with the colors of this particular should.
Today my should statement is a bubble gum pink energy. I know that this color represents perfectionism to me. As I imagine this bubble in front of my closed eyes, I acknowledge that I’m trying to do everything perfectly today. And that energy – that perfectionism energy – is the should of “I should do it like the others are doing it”. But that’s not a true thought of what I want to do-that’s a thought of what others think I should do.
Now that I see this energy, and know that it’s not representative of my true nature, I can get rid of it! It’s really that easy. The first step is to become aware of the energy that is causing you discomfort, the second step is to get rid of it!
How do I do that?
In my book, Tame the Inner Critic Find Peace and Contentment to Live Your Life On Purpose, I offer specific exercises and meditations on taming this beast of a voice. So today, and everyday, I’m following my own advice. I imagine a big giant magnet out in front of my closed eyes and I ask this magnet to draw out all the perfectionist energy from my body and aura. I imagine all that bubble gum pink color leaving my body as it’s drawn into the magnet.
Once all the energy is in the magnet, I imagine the magnet exploding in front of me. I see all that energy dissipate as tiny particles of energy dust. I know that the perfectionism of this particular should has been removed from my aura and is heading back down to the center of the earth.
I take a couple of deep breaths, knowing that the shoulds have been cleared for now. Now I can return to what I’m doing in a state of peace and tranquility. I will do things my own way – and speak with my own authentic voice – not the voice of others.
Try this the next time one of your own should statements gets in your way.