Archives for General
One of the books I regularly recommend to readers is Rosie Molinary's Beautiful You. Because it's empowering, inspiring and practical. And because it's necessary. Because we receive messages that tell us we aren't good enough---but we can become good enough and happy and confident if we do X, Y and Z. If we lose weight. If we change our appearance. If we are productive. If we don't make any mistakes. If we...
I used to view my thoughts and beliefs as rock-solid facts. I assumed they were indisputable, unquestionable truths. I assumed that I had to stick with them because I'd stuck with them for years. As if I was married to these thoughts, and divorce simply wasn't an option.
You guys know I love making lists, especially when it comes to practicing self-care and creating satisfaction. One of the ways we can use lists is to write down what truly nourishes us and brings us joy---and then make sure that we include these things, people, actions and places inside our days. Because, as Annie Dillard famously and wisely said, "How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives."
Each of us carries a collection of different "shoulds." Beliefs that we are convinced are pure, hard facts. Beliefs that dictate our actions. Beliefs that often don't support us. A range of beliefs about everything from our bodies to our hearts. Beliefs both big and small.
I should weigh X number of pounds. I should have a super clean home. I should have muscular legs. I should always look "put together." I should say yes whenever people ask me for help, no matter what it is. I should exercise every day. I should be happy. I should know how to do that. I should be able to do it all. I should keep my needs to myself. I should keep my emotions to myself. I should be organized. I should finish everything on my to-do list. I should know what he wants. I should know what she needs.
Connecting to our feelings is vital. Recently, I came across this quote from the new book The Danish Way of Parenting, which is simply spot on: “How can we know what we want when we don’t know what we feel?”
It can be really hard to process our emotions, especially if we've spent years doing anything but. Maybe you've dismissed your emotions. Maybe you've pretended they didn't exist, burying them deeper and deeper, hoping all the dirt would make them disappear.
Knowing ourselves is essential for making supportive decisions, for taking compassionate care of ourselves and for living a fulfilling life. After all, when we know what we need and want, what our natural tendencies and preferences are, we can act accordingly. That is, we can act in ways that honor ourselves.
Our inner critics can be quite harsh and cruel. Which is why many of us start to dislike, or even despise, that inner voice. We might even find ourselves constantly getting caught up in battle.