Exercise Havingness: Stop Shoulding on Yourself. What do you want?
19th Jun 2011Posted in: Text 0
Exercise Havingness: Stop Shoulding on Yourself. What do you want?

Yesterday I awoke from the most amazingly chillaxed day in the history of Ali: I had 4 hours of yoga with Seane Corn and Kathryn Budig at the Hanuman Festival over on the BHS lawn next to the rushing creek on Friday, and found myself at dinner that night, draped in the patio chair like a limp noodle – totally parasympathetic, and in public.

Thanks to my feline alarm clock, I woke up around 5 to dish up the kitten-viddles, and took my Franklin Method balls-set back to bed with me. I rested and melted some tender zones on my hips, back and neck for the next 3 luscious hours while the sunlight filtered in my room with plenty of Sunny-Summer-Saturday-in-Boulder intensity. By the time I rose to greet the day vertically, my mind was full of ideas and churning to-do lists of all the great things I could accomplish on this brilliant weekend day.  And it was wonderful because I wanted to do all of this and had been waiting for the perfect moment to really work through these things.

Towards mid-morning, the flow started to snag on an auxillary list, and I felt my motivation wane from “hell yeah!” to “oh, I should do that, too.” And, before I knew it I was ‘shoulding’ all over myself.

What happens when I ‘should’ myself? Well, it’s not always pretty. It looks like lackluster with a really weak finish. There’s no inspired motivation anymore because I feel that I must do something that I 1.) don’t want to do, 2.) have little desire for, 3.) feel that I have to do something to appease someone or something else. Ultimately, I give up my power by giving up my spontaneous creative agency to say “Nah, I don’t want to do that. I want to do [this].”

Where do those voices in my head come from that chirp about what I should be doing? Why do I give them air-time? I’m learning to ignore them and ask them kindly to leave. I want the silence hold the space for me to show up how I want to in the moment.

I met up with a dear mentor-friend at her studio in Denver last night. After dinner and Bhakti Chai with coconut milk (try it!) at Watercourse, we came back to the downtown studio for more much needed catching up – and we talked about this very theme of shoulding on ourselves in our love, life, art and work.

On our way out, she said, “Ah, I don’t know if I’m going to stop by the venue my husband is playing at or just go home.”

“What do you want to do?” I asked. “What does your body want right now?”

“I want to go home and enjoy the quiet house before bed,” she said with a smile. “That’s what I want to do, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

By checking in and being honest about what you really want in the moment, voicing it and doing it, there is great affirmation and clarity in your choice and in your direction. There is no question where you are going, no hesitancy, and the awareness of that momentous present is the best gift you can give yourself  – over and over again.

Begin by asking yourself: What do I want right now? Then, choose to let yourself have it. Your happiness is always there, waiting for you.

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