HOW TO STOP SHOULDING ALL OVER YOUR LIFE

Should sucks

I’ve been thinking about this topic all week and then it popped up again in a powerful yin yoga class today. I’m feeling particularly grateful in my life right now, and typically when this happens, I start to unpack a lot of why I was feeling so blue before this abundance of gratitude. So here we go, what I’ve been pondering on:
 
“Everything happens the way it should.” Ew. It can be such a tough one to swallow.
 
What about terrible things? And trauma? And heartbreak?
 
Yes, those too. Those things happened the way they should so we can grow. So we can overcome and emerge stronger on the other side. Whatever your reasoning is, it’s personal. But let’s let the mantra for this week be… everything happens the way that it should. Sit with that. Think about it. Where do you feel that?
 
Since I graduated with my M.A. in 2016, things have been very inwardly rocky for me. It’s been hard for me to stick to something, to get my footing. I always had this underlying since of anxiety like I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing.
 
During a workout, I’d think, crap, I should be sending that e-mail. During a nice meal with my family, I’d think, damn, I should be posting on Instagram. While I was learning a new skill, I’d think, I should be advancing the skills I already have. There was always a “you should be” in the back of my head. As you can imagine (or potentially relate), this is not a stable mindset from which to live an abundant life.
 
I was shoulding all over my life. You should be making more money by now. You should be able to balance new roles and expectations with ease. You should be pursuing your dreams. You should be more strategic.
 
While some of those “should bes” have been silenced by action, there is something to be said for staying present and just letting the moment take you. If you are going to choose to have dinner with your family instead of writing those e-mails, then honor yourself and your family by not being distracted with what you “should be” doing.
 
Because if we believe the clichés that everything happens for a reason, or everything happens as it should, or trust the timing of your life, then we need to live that and not just say that.
 
When you start to notice those “should be” feelings arising, acknowledge that they’re there, and take 3 intentional breaths. Remind yourself of the choice you’re making and the physical location where you currently are, and breathe. Repeat to yourself, “everything happens as it should.” I know I’ve found so much comfort in this practice, and I hope you do too.
 
It’s really incredible how breathing and being present can truly ground and shape our lives. Give it a try. Respond to this e-mail and tell me how it works for you.

Sending love!
-Lauren

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