Stop Shoulding on Yourself

There seem to be many should rolling around in my head these days. I should be creating more art than I am. I should be organizing and getting rid of stuff in my house. I should be reaching out to friends more often. I should be doing more!

Does any of this sound familiar?

It is easy to should on myself because it is a pattern I know well. If only I did more________, than I would be loved and accepted more, affirmed more, be more connected.

And what this time is gracing me with is time to really let go of the shoulds and just be present in the now.

What if, instead of beating myself up, I allowed the quiet truth to speak to me? I am already loved and accepted, affirmed and connected. I am already treasured beyond measure.

As a highly sensitive person who is empathic, I have been doing the work to process feelings around this pandemic. One day last week, tears fell freely all day. The next day, I felt my body ramped up with anger, and I couldn’t focus on any one thing with all that energy moving through me. And then the next day my hips started hurting and as I worked to name what I was feeling, all that came was “bone numbing grief.”

I didn’t ask to be the holder of these emotions, yet I was born into the 20% of the world’s population who is highly sensitive, and that is part of why we are here . It is also very important that I take care of myself and protect my own energy with boundaries in the midst of these crazy days so I don’t get overwhelmed and consumed by the world. This means lots of yoga, conscious breathing, meditation, walking, awareness of what I am carrying, etc. This means constant vigilance so that my body doesn’t shut down. (Baths are so important to help me let go of junk!) Oh, I wish I could say I was really good at this! Every day, I am learning more and more how to be present to my own needs in the midst of so many challenges!

All of us are feeling the pressure of staying put, out of our normal routines. So whatever you are feeling in this moment- just be kind to yourself and know you will get through this. Let go of your unrealistic expectations and give yourself permission to just be you. Take more time to be quiet, even if that means breathing in the bathroom for the two minutes you are locked away from the kids. Send positive thoughts and kindness to essential workers and be kind when you are in the grocery store. Remember that everyone is doing the best they can, including you. Remember we are resilient. We will get through this time.

What can you do to move into a space of more peace today?

What can you give yourself permission to do? Be?

Today, I choose self-kindness by__________

I am grateful for all of you. Thank you for your invisible and uplifting support during this time.

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