During the night, I came upon a website of horoscopes that included affirmations for this week for each sign. None of the many affirmations included really spoke to me, except for the first one. It reads:

“I take a moment to consider what it is I am creating. What it is I want to be making. What it is that gets in the way when I try to do so.”

This affirmation reminds me to take a moment and be conscious of my capacity to manifest the life I seek right in the here and now. It reminds me of the title of John Perkin’s book, The World Is As You Dream It. Now I think this is on to something. But the world is also how WE dream it. Sometimes it feels like I am living in the dreams that others have of me. But this affirmation is useful to me because it reminds me of the power of my own dreaming in the face of those other dreams (or rather nightmares). I can take a moment and try to step out of the projections placed on me, remembering that I have a power and purpose not dictated by them, by other people’s ideas of what I should be, or what I should do. So many shoulds in this life.

Shoulds are part of what “gets in the way” of the life I am trying to create. On Sundays I have occasionally taken up going to a garden yoga class. A brilliant and deeply centered woman named Kristen has begun teaching yoga in a kind of show garden for a farm that sells plants. As we are all planted on the dew filled grass, birds chirp and sail by. The sun always seems to emerge brighter at the end. I can’t help but close my eyes. Anyway, Kristen, the teacher, in this magical exercise is filled with startling wisdom. She always seems to tune into what the group needs. Last week, we focused on slowing down (she clearly has her hand on the pulse of the universe!). But one day a month or so back, she said something about how there were no shoulds here in the class. If we don’t like a position, we can change it. If we want to take a walk, go for it. There are no shoulds there. She said this about all the shoulds in relation to our bodies. We don’t need to sit in judgement of our bodies. Our bodies are. No shoulds. It was startling. I realized I have so many shoulds in my life, in my mind. I should do that. I should have seen that coming. I should have said something. I should have been silent. I should be…. I should be… 

All these shoulds are a refusal to deal with what is and we can’t move to a new place until we deal with what is. This critique of the many shoulds in my life has stuck with me since that yoga class. Let’s stop ourselves when we hear ourselves saying what we should do or feel or think. Let’s take a step back when others tell us what we should be. Instead, I want to notice what is. My to-do list and my email have all manner of shoulds in them. But what is is often that I need to eat or pump milk so my baby can eat or write or just read a new book that has come out in my field (maybe it will transform the way that I teach or maybe it will simply keep my mind sharp).

To return to the affirmation I began with. Let’s try and stop and be conscious of what we are manifesting, but also be super clear about where we are. To consider what we want to be creating without any shoulds.

 

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Photo credit: Sole Treadmill via Foter.com / CC BY
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