Many of us live our lives through our ‘shoulds’ - I should be working harder, I should be eating less sugar, I should be more productive, I should do laundry, I should make dinner, I should clean the kitchen, I should be detoxing, I should be relaxed, I should go to the gym, I should keep a day planner, I should get up earlier.... and the list goes on and on and on.
Carrie Bradshaw put it best when she said, “Why are we should-ing all over ourselves?”
There is usually an emotional and physical reaction that occurs when someone shoulds all over themselves. I know my reaction is to get annoyed, frustrated, self-pittying and then a sh*t storm of guilt flows over me. Sometimes I use my guilt as a security blanket, knowing that if I make myself feel guilty and bad about it, at least I’m doing something - anyone else in this boat? But, what if we could disappear our shoulds, our guilt, our judgement and live from what’s highest for us to do. The real question is how do you know when a should is something to do or something to give up?
Here’s the answer - have you ever been completely erked by something you should do and I mean you just feel so icky that you literally have a physical reaction to the should? If the should is so painful, it’s time to look at why you think you need to be doing it in the first place? When something feels so wrong and off it is actually your inner guidance saying, you are off track - it’s like the GPS in your car when you make a wrong turn, “Wrong way, U-turn in 20 metres!” If you have to should yourself so hard into doing something, it’s probably not the right action for you to take.
For many of us, we may be completely unaware of our reactions to our shoulds, so now is the time to start connecting. Next time you have a should - take 5 deep breaths afterwards and see what comes up for you - ickiness or just the need to get ‘er done?
What if it Needs to Get Done?
Now you might be thinking, “well, I have some shoulds that give me the erks but they actually need to get done like eating more greens or working out or cleaning my house- 3 very important things to be healthy, how do I un-should those, miss know it all?”
The next thing to think about is, why are they so painful for you to do? Why does the mere thought of them bring weight baring guilt? Perhaps eating more greens is not appealing to you because you have been eating plain steamed greens and they just don’t taste very good! All you need is to spice up your recipe repertoire and you can easily do that by browsing through our blog recipes!
If your should is around working out - maybe going to the gym just isn’t your jam but taking a super fun workout dance class is! If you should be cleaning your house and you’ve got a case of the erks, hire a cleaning person or barter with a friend so that they will clean your place for you!
We are here to live miraculous, joyous and fulfilling lives. The more we should all over ourselves, the more we take away from doing the amazing things we actually want and love to be doing! So, next time a should comes up for you and it just feels like a complete drag - think about this blogpost and choose whether it’s in your highest to do it, and if it is, transform that should into something awesome - like Sweet Asian Kale Salad (see, i’ve got your greens covered!).
What are some of your shoulds that you can’t seem to shake? Leave a comment below!
Sweet Sesame Kale Salad
1 bunch kale, chopped 1 cucumber, sliced 1 carrot, grated ⅛ cup sunflower seeds ⅛ cup pumpkin seeds 2 Tbsp hemp seeds 1/2 cup sunflower sprouts
2 Tbsp sesame oil 1 Tbsp umeboshi plum vinegar or rice vinegar 2 tsp honey or maple syrup
- Chop kale in fine pieces. Slice the cucumber and grate the carrots.
- Toss the vegetables together with sesame oil and vinegar.
- Mix in the seeds.