Stop "shoulding" All Over Yourself

The other day, I took a break from a very full work day to have a "power hour" of yoga. I am confident and comfortable to have a very successful home practice, so I will throw on one of three teachers I love. This day was Mark White, my brother-in-law's dear friend, who hosts "M Body" Podcast. He refers to a quote that Baptiste uses at his bootcamps about "shoulding" all over yourself. 

As quick as lightening I was reminded of how living in the land of should's just makes us feel worthless instead of strong and healthy.  

Too often in our lives we make commitments to ourselves we cannot keep or just don't have the energy to tend to because we're frayed. But then when someone asks, "How often do you exercise a week (with your job as the President of a successful business, mother, wife, sister, friend, and oh yah you count too)?" And the first response is, "Well, I know I should 'xyz' but really I don't. And I feel ashamed to say that I don't but I should." See there you go, shoulding all over yourself. 

That is a friggin' mess. Stop shoulding yourself! Instead of writing for you, let's just dig in together. Now, go grab a piece of paper and pen, or go directly to the comments after you finish the exercise and share. 

1. Write for two minutes, without stopping, WHERE in your life you are "shoulding" all over yourself. Ready. Set. GO!

  • Is there one body that is most ignored or affected?
  • Identify the body: physical, emotional, spiritual or intellectual.
  • Write the body down.

2. Now, you've identified the body your "shoulding" on, explore WHY you keep doing this to yourself (we do this to recognize the patterning we create and need to break to develop healthy habits). 

  • When you explore your why, you explore what's working and what's not working.
  • You might have to take this one out for a run, hike, walk or some sort of physical activity, because it can be a little difficult to access just sitting there...Finding our "why" needs some dopamine or Oxytocin. Move it!
  • When we explore the "why" we get to the core of our health...we re-direct what's not working from there.

3. Stop "shoulding" yourself and make a move towards doing things that make you feel good.

  • In the body you're "shoulding," make a commitment today to do ONE thing everyday that makes you feel fantastic that you're not doing right now for the next three weeks. Put the one thing (it can change every day, but just one thing) into your schedule, even if you have to maneuver your busy life, and commit.
  • Find your, "X, Y, and Z" and break up with it. Time to cut the cords and move into greater health.
  • Be gentle on yourself. Push your compassionate button and realize that making tiny tweaks in your life does lead to big changes, but sometimes those tiny tweaks feel uncomfortable.

Shoulding yourself keeps you in your stressed body, your exhausted body, your excuses body. It is the drug of your high expectations mind, your not good enough mind, and eventually leads you down the road of the "good mother myth."

When you're done, come back to the comments below and tell us how you're going to stop "shoulding" all over yourself and make some positive impact in your life.

This month, we're addressing burnout prevention. The burnout prevention toolbox I carry is full of goodies. Sure, the insurance and drug companies don't like people like me, because I keep people of meds and keep them living healthy, happy, and full lives.

Thank you as always for coming 'round here, sharing this love with your friends and moms who matter to you. I send you a big hug this week.