In today’s world, it’s easy to get lost in the complexity of our society. Our life can become a whirling mass of chores, things, people, responsibilities and places, leaving us feeling lost and joyless.
When that happens, take some time to make yourself a top priority. Decide what really matters to you…your well-being and peaceful existence. Eliminate as many of the “shoulds” as possible, and let go of unnecessary things and people. Take some time to do what makes you happy and clears your mind. Relax and go with the flow of life; don’t complicate it with overthinking. When you return to what you absolutely have to do, you will approach it more lovingly because you’ve found time to nurture yourself and relax back into yourself.
My favorite go-to place locally is without a doubt, Cape May, NJ. The beauty of the ocean and rhythm of the waves relaxes me and helps to clear my head. The same is true to some extent for writing and genealogy although those activities can at times be bittersweet. 🙂
Do you have a special place or activity that allows you to relax and free yourself from your routine?
What would your life be like if you could remove the spoken words or thoughts in your head that begin with “I should?” Sound good? Of course, we all have responsibilities that we absolutely have to honor, but unless it’s a matter of life or death, perhaps we can live our lives in a way that includes more of the things we want to do than we’ve been allowing.
Contrary to what many of us have been taught, it’s okay to put your own needs before others. Your body, mind and spirit need to be nurtured and attended to first so you will have the energy and desire to assist others. It’s like they tell you on an airplane: put the oxygen mask on yourself before putting one on your child. Allow yourself the time for that nap, exercise workout, meditation session or on-line class.
Sometimes, what we think we should do, doesn’t really need to be done. If you’re a perfectionist like I am, you may find that you’re being too hard on yourself and wasting time on activities that really don’t matter. As I’ve gotten older I’ve noticed that some things, like balancing my checkbook to the exact penny, are just not worth my time.
Some of your “shoulds” may simply be habits, such as always doing the family laundry on Mondays and Fridays. Maybe you’d rather go to the beach on a Monday and you are feeling guilty that you won’t be home doing laundry. Now really, which do you want to be doing? You’ll be a happier person if you allow yourself to become more flexible with your chores.
Other times, that little voice in your head is just an outgrown memory tape of things your parents said to you years ago. Is it still wise advice or just a reflection of their values and prejudices that hold no meaning for you at this place and time in your life? Be selective and listen only to what makes sense to you now.
When the next “I should” vs. “I want” dilemma comes up, try choosing “I want.” You will find that if you do this more often, you will generate more positive energy in your life and your world will become a happier place for you and those around you.