I awoke this morning feeling out of sorts. It’s amazing how one off thought can lead to the next and the next and before too long your head is filled with yukky thoughts and it seems like life sucks and everything’s hopeless.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about thinking lately. Our thoughts impact on us dramatically. Just yesterday I had a day that was partially good and partially me battling myself. The battling part was freshest in my mind when someone asked me, “How was your day?” Thankfully this was a conscious person who would really hear what my answer was. I say thankfully because when someone around you is conscious it helps us stay in an aware place too. That’s why hanging around people who are aware keeps us more aware and reading these sorts of books and blogs and websites does too.
Anyway she asked me how my day was and because she was very present, I stopped and thought of my options. What was my story going to be right now about my day? What did I want to choose for myself? I could
Mostly we pretend
That underneath our clothes we are
Yet here you sit
The preparations made
The people invited
And now here we all sit
From the audience
I watch you begin
To get naked
At first I’m
I received passionate feedback after I wrote about give-take balance last week (read the full post here). It seems many of us struggle to say ‘no’. So I gave it more thought. As I do, a fascinating complexity about a belief in ‘should’ and ‘must get it right’ is revealing itself to me. I’ll try to share what I can see so far. Here goes;
What do I need in order to say no? First I need to see that something I’m being asked to do (by myself or someone else) isn’t right for me. I can only see that if I am paying attention to the signals my system gives me – for example, if when I’m asked to do something I feel uncomfortable, unhappy, resentful or panicky.
So right there at the starting line we already hit a tricky patch. How many of us regularly listen to the signals we get from ourselves? Society trains us to override ourselves and ‘be nice’, not listen to ourselves and be insubordinate or non-compliant.
But let’s just say I manage to get past this tricky patch and I hear my signals telling me something being asked of me does not suit me? THEN what? Well then it gets even trickier because now I have to take a stand. If I don’t go along with what is being asked of me I have to show myself, I kind of have to get naked and stand there being seen. “Here I am, this what I think and feel – you probably won’t like it because it’s not what you want, but here I stand naked anyway.”
Now does that sound like your idea of fun?
So we can see why we avoid saying no. I mean who wants to subject themselves to THAT? But it’s not as simple as avoiding that scenario – because as you step away from the pan, you find yourself in the fire.
Those who know me will have heard me say, “I don’t say yes if I don’t want to do it.” Those who worry about burdening me or asking too much of me are reassured, “Trust me to look after myself. I won’t say yes if it’s not ok for me.”
Most of the time this is true for me. I love being able to say no if something doesn’t suit me and yes when it does. It’s such a liberating thing to be able to do. This didn’t come naturally to me, I’m a people-pleaser by nature. It gives me great joy to see others happy so I’ve had to do some serious internal renovations to get to this place. It helps me to know that if I falsely agree to something when inside I’m reluctant, neither I nor they will be happy in the long run and it will damage our relationship. So it actually fits into my ethos of bringing happiness to others if I say no to them when what they desire from me doesn’t feel good to me.
In my Reiki courses I teach about
Is there anything you would like to change about yourself?
If yes, what would you change and why do you want it to be different?
What are your answers?
I come up with: I would feel better about myself; Life would be easier for me; I would like myself more; I would be a nicer person…
The thing about our answers is they show us what we worry about and what we think isn’t good enough about us right now as we are. Then we FIGHT to try to make what isn’t right about us go away somehow, to fix, it, change it so we don’t have to live with this thing we don’t want.
Depending on your style of being in the world, you may find this
There is a fallacy in our capitalist-driven society that if something is not ‘impressive’ it’s not really worth much – and if it’s not impressive, it should at least be very useful to make up for it.
So for example, if I ask you to think of a woman in her forties or fifties, unmarried and without children, in her kitchen in an old dressing gown what sort of automatic thoughts do you have about her?
Without trying to ‘correct’ your thoughts just see what happens in you. Stop reading for a moment now and observe your thoughts and preconceptions about her there in her kitchen. Do you automatically jump to any conclusions about her happiness? Do you have any unconscious value judgements on her worth and contribution to society? Is she important in your societally-trained assessment?
How do you feel about these thoughts and preconceptions you have?
I find it quite upsetting that a part of me does immediately leap to question her real worth and importance because I deeply KNOW that this is not true or relevant – yet there it is in me.
What if I told you this lady was Shirley Valentine? Would it change how you saw her?
What if I told you it was Oprah?
What if you pictured a man instead?
We are terribly hampered by these skewed views our capitalist society imbues in us. We are trained out of appreciating daily beauty and the direct result of this is
In a meditation the other day I received this thought, “You should be SO grateful for the parts of your body that have been causing you pain and discomfort.” This thought came with a deep sense of joyful appreciation – for the parts of my body I sometimes worry about, consider dragging off to the doctor to see if they can be ‘fixed’, fear that they indicate I have some serious degenerative disease…
LOVE for THOSE parts!
But once you have a feeling you can’t un-have it. I now know that my body is doing something important for me – even if I don’t know what – and something really good. Those parts of my body are taking me on a journey. They are my guides.
To what? To my Self of course. They are guiding me home to me.
But how do you start to love something you really wish wasn’t there? How do you love what scares you?
There is more and more research showing that