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Dropping the Should’s

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about dropping the shoulds. So to start off with, I'd like to invite you to listen to the following sentences and just notice if they sound familiar to you and how they make you feel when you hear them. I should be a better partner. I should be getting more sleep.

I shouldn't be eating so much. I should be a better parent. I should have known better. I shouldn't be spending so much money. And now just take a few moments to bring to mind some of the shoulds and shouldn'ts that you say to yourself regularly.

And now maybe think of some of the shoulds or shouldn'ts that you might hear from others. And noticing when you hear or say should, how does it make you feel? For me, I notice I feel heavy, I feel burdened, I felt obligated, stressed and kind of restricted. So while it's quite natural and healthy to want pleasant things and stay away from unpleasant things and to have values and morals, things become very problematic when they turn into rigid internal rules. When this happens, we often become really stressed, judgmental, critical, and even righteous. Our shoulds make us feel like we're never good enough and we often extend this to others as well.

So as one teacher said to me, it's hard for anyone to measure up when we're shooting all over ourselves. So some of our shoulds are things we subconsciously pick up in our childhood, or maybe from the media. Some we pick up from religion or the culture we live in. Some come from the expectations of our peer group. But wherever they come from, if we don't question our shoulds, they end up controlling us, limiting us and disempowering us.

So imagine what it would be like to drop your shoulds in a relationship, or maybe dropping the shoulds about your body, or maybe letting go of the shoulds in a difficult situation in your life. Imagining that, what does it feel like? It probably feels relaxing, relieving and freeing, right? Like putting down a heavy load? So if any of this resonates with you, my invitation for you today and ongoing is to shift your, I should to I choose. So if you'd like to lose some weight, for instance, then your inner and outer voice would say, I choose to lose weight. And maybe you do that because you care about your health. Or if you want to spend less money, you'd say to yourself, I choose to save money.

And maybe you're choosing that because you want to invest in your future. So when you choose, it really connects you back to your genuine reasons for wanting to do or not do something. And that's so much more empowering and life affirming. So each time you catch yourself thinking I should, change to I choose. In this way, you are no longer chained to shoulds and you're empowered to choose what's right for you from a place of awareness and inner strength.

So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's begin to settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

Dropping the Should’s

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I'm going to talk about dropping the shoulds. So to start off with, I'd like to invite you to listen to the following sentences and just notice if they sound familiar to you and how they make you feel when you hear them. I should be a better partner. I should be getting more sleep.

I shouldn't be eating so much. I should be a better parent. I should have known better. I shouldn't be spending so much money. And now just take a few moments to bring to mind some of the shoulds and shouldn'ts that you say to yourself regularly.

And now maybe think of some of the shoulds or shouldn'ts that you might hear from others. And noticing when you hear or say should, how does it make you feel? For me, I notice I feel heavy, I feel burdened, I felt obligated, stressed and kind of restricted. So while it's quite natural and healthy to want pleasant things and stay away from unpleasant things and to have values and morals, things become very problematic when they turn into rigid internal rules. When this happens, we often become really stressed, judgmental, critical, and even righteous. Our shoulds make us feel like we're never good enough and we often extend this to others as well.

So as one teacher said to me, it's hard for anyone to measure up when we're shooting all over ourselves. So some of our shoulds are things we subconsciously pick up in our childhood, or maybe from the media. Some we pick up from religion or the culture we live in. Some come from the expectations of our peer group. But wherever they come from, if we don't question our shoulds, they end up controlling us, limiting us and disempowering us.

So imagine what it would be like to drop your shoulds in a relationship, or maybe dropping the shoulds about your body, or maybe letting go of the shoulds in a difficult situation in your life. Imagining that, what does it feel like? It probably feels relaxing, relieving and freeing, right? Like putting down a heavy load? So if any of this resonates with you, my invitation for you today and ongoing is to shift your, I should to I choose. So if you'd like to lose some weight, for instance, then your inner and outer voice would say, I choose to lose weight. And maybe you do that because you care about your health. Or if you want to spend less money, you'd say to yourself, I choose to save money.

And maybe you're choosing that because you want to invest in your future. So when you choose, it really connects you back to your genuine reasons for wanting to do or not do something. And that's so much more empowering and life affirming. So each time you catch yourself thinking I should, change to I choose. In this way, you are no longer chained to shoulds and you're empowered to choose what's right for you from a place of awareness and inner strength.

So as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us. And now let's begin to settle in for today's meditation.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

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