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Decoding Pain Series – Releasing the Pressure

Posted Nov 19 2009 10:00pm

To read the first post in this series, click here.

My Thanksgiving Dinnerware

My Thanksgiving Dinnerware

This could be an easy week to put a lot of pressure on myself.  Here are the things I could be “shoulding” about:

1.    I should make my house look great for the Thanksgiving relative influx
2.    I should get my to-do list done prior to next week, because I won’t be working next week
3.    I should cook meals for my husband this week
4.    I should be writing the rough draft of my book this week
5.    I should be writing an extra blog post for next week
6.    I should be responding to emails within 24 hours
7.    I should be on top of the shopping and planning

Thankfully, I’ve tasted the blissful freedom of life without constant shoulds.   I watch them pop up in my mind, and smile.  Those shoulds can’t even tempt me anymore!  I am wise to their ways.  I know that if I believe them, I’ll feel tension creeping into my body and a weight descending on my soul.  Self-pressure is at the root of much of the physical tension we experience.  This tension is not something the human body can withstand for long without developing pain.  I remember being totally flabbergasted when I realized I was holding constant tension in my pelvic floor muscles.  With that revelation, I could easily see why pain had developed in that region.

Take off the shoulds, and you’ll begin to taste freedom and relaxation, too.   When I read the above “should” list, I feel my Essential Self drooping.  There’s no way she’s going to let me take on those things.  She has much better ideas.   Here are the things I’m actually doing this week:

1.    Folding a little laundry, but otherwise leaving the house as-is
2.    Moving to-do’s that simply don’t fit into my schedule onto future weeks
3.    Cooking nothing – last night’s dinner involved a lot of toast, and we’re out of butter.  My husband actually poured olive oil on his toast.
4.    Taking a week off of writing, guilt free
5.    Writing this week’s blog post and letting next week’s fend for itself – or not
6.    Keeping unanswered emails for the future – guilt free
7.    Neither shopping nor planning.  On Monday, I spent the entire afternoon with my mom, doing nothing holiday related whatsoever.

My essential self loves this list.  This week, I am doing what I know is right for me, and nothing more.  Next week is Thanksgiving.  Next week, my in-laws are coming to celebrate with us, and we are spending Wednesday and Thursday together.  Next week, my mom is having surgery on Monday.  She’s not going to be up for a Thanksgiving shindig.    Spending time with Mom – absolutely right.  We needed some time together before she leaves for the hospital.  Work can wait.  Emails can wait.  Thanksgiving dinner can be on paper plates.

What are you not doing this week?

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