Many of us have plans, ideas and expectations of how we’d like life, work and things to be. We are reminded everywhere these days to be more present, define goals, have bucket lists & set intentions. We’ve all heard how every day is an opportunity to restart, to try again, to make a fresh go at it. We push ourselves to practice meditation, better self-care, try journaling, or any number of new resources or rituals that are meant to improve our quality of life.
All that seems good; until it’s not.
You may be wondering how all those positive ideas and aspirations can be anything but positive. Well, let me share my thoughts on this.
As a result of so many “shoulds” we are creating additional pressures and stressors that although are seemingly helpful, only add to the quantity of things on our plates. Rather than these tools becoming helpful ways to create more ease and work-life alignment they are actually draining us of the little energy or time we feel we have.
I personally experience many of these pressures and also hear how my clients and friends are affected by what I am calling ‘Mindfulness Overwhelm’. In our lives and work, we have started to simplify and minimize this feeling by tackling and getting realistic about those surmounting “shoulds”.
Just because someone thinks you should do something doesn’t mean you should. Just because someone else journals daily, doesn’t mean it is the right answer for you. Just because your co-worker has found peace in breathing exercises doesn’t mean it is necessary for you to add it to your routine. Just because a friend shares her success with daily sitting meditations doesn’t mean you have to feel out of sorts when you can’t accomplish the same.
What really counts is finding your own way. Discovering what practices and tools align for you. Rather than seeking to do it all and failing then feeling more overwhelm and less accomplished, how about surrendering to the process. How about allowing yourself the empty space to NOT do something?
Life & mindfulness is not a competition. It is about living. It is about being. It is about finding what serves YOU. What lights you up. What allows you to shine. What feels good. We are all unique and different and our ‘shoulds’ will never be the same.
This week, rather than trying to do it all, or trying to take on the ‘shoulds’ of others, how about taking 10 minutes to just stop and do nothing.
Pick only 1 thing that resonates and truly matters to you. See where can you surrender and minimize the overwhelm by choosing ONLY what serves you?