“Nothing terrible has ever happened except in our thinking. Reality is always good, even in situations that seem like nightmares. The story we tell is the only nightmare that we have lived.” – Byron Katie
One of my favorite books I come back to time and time again is The Work, by Byron Katie. Every time I read from her book I feel as though I am ‘wiping’ my mind clean. Clean of preconceived notions about what life should be, how I should act, and what tomorrow should look like. This book has helped me realize how dangerous ‘should‘ is. To think something should be a certain way is to be in denial of what is.
I have more personal interactions on a daily basis than a lot of people, because of my line of work. Due to that I have realized how incredibly delusional our thoughts can make us at times! I will see a client doing incredibly well, making improvements in nearly all areas, but then that same client comes to me expressing how stressed and anxious they feel. Much of the time it’s because they believe they ‘should’ be somewhere else along their journey, and instead they are here. Isn’t it crazy how we spend so much of our time trying to fit our lives into the picture society has created for us? Or our parents? Or possibly someone we met years ago who told us so?
I often lay out the facts to that person, showing them multiple references to prove that they are indeed on the ‘right track’ and are exactly where they should be. You see, it’s not where they are that stresses them out or even the process itself, it’s the illusion they create in their mind about how it should feel and look. If we just accept each day as it comes, and assume that as long as we are doing the work it takes we are exactly where we are supposed to be, life is so much more enjoyable.
When it comes to weight-loss and body transformation, I think a big reason there are so many ‘shoulds’ that people believe is because of all the false advertising and nonsense put out there into society. We are constantly surrounded by a flooded media full of hot toned bodies, six-pack abs, etc. I think that this creates the notion that what you see as ‘fit’ in the media is what you should strive for. Almost like, if you don’t have year-round abs and a tight butt, you aren’t “there” yet.
I encourage you to create your own vision of what fit looks like to you, what it feels like, how it acts. Mentally dump out all those images flooding your Instagram Feed and Facebook, decide what YOU want. Living by the standards and notions that society projects is a decision, and you can decide to do things in a way that feels right to you instead of what you think is right in the eye’s of society. I strongly urge you to answer these questions as personal inquiry…..
What do I believe about where I should ‘be’ right now?
Where did those beliefs come from?
Are these true? How can I know these are true?
Do these beliefs empower me or disempower me?
What do I need to believe in order to be empowered?