From my own experience, when the inner judge and critic is around, the things I want most will not find their way to me and seem to, in fact, become worse, bigger and/or more annoying.
It wasn’t until I understood how to DETACH from the inner critic that my inner Self/Spirit could do it’s thing, which is to shepherd my wants, dreams and desires to me. My inner critic blocks. My inner Self allows me to move in the direction of my vision, dreams and wants.
Sound simple? That depends on you and how you approach it. The ticket for me is awareness. When I observe my habits of self talk, I can then begin to dismantle and detach like leaves detaching from the trees in autumn.
The practice goes like this:
– awareness in the moment the inner critic speaks up
– compassion for your whole self as you become aware
Since Autumn has arrived, I’ve been using it as a vehicle to practice any or all of the practices listed above. My husband has been teasing about my “compulsion” for going outside to sweep or rake up the leaves because there are so many more to come down. What he does not realize is that I am intentional about these leaf sessions. I call it Leaf Sweeping Therapy (LST). And there are so many benefits:
I spend about 15 to 20 minutes to sweep and then I can go back to my desk feeling very refreshed.
If my Ego were in the mix, it would judge the time I take away from my desk and thoughts about what to make for dinner, do I need to make a quick run to the grocery store?, why didn’t I exercise longer this morning, I’ll be sorry for having that ice cream last night, etc, etc etc and before I know it, I cannot get my arms around what I’m doing at my desk for my clients or employer.
Once I unhook from that kind of nonsense, I became a much happier, more productive person. The practice has served me so well, that I’m curious to see how it looks when there are no more leaves to sweep. I know I can shovel snow in the winter but how about the spring and summer? Stay tuned and find out.
In the meanwhile, how do you detach? What do you notice when you do?
I love a good day off.
For me, a “good day off” is when I can relax every part of my being. My breathing feels deeper, the sky seems bluer … you get the idea.
We made a point of getting out of the house early one morning to take a day trip to the ocean. Before we left, I asked:
“What intention would you like to set for our trip today?”
He thought for a few seconds and with a mischievous look on his face, he replied:
I laughed and thought…buffalo? OK. Buffalo. What the heck! That’s so like him. A good challenge. Innocent fun.
I was game (so to speak).
It doesn’t matter that we are on the mid-Atlantic coast, where the buffalo are famous for not roaming.
We drove over two hours to the beach. Our conversation was light and fun. I kept my eyes open for buffalo. He kept his eyes on the GPS.
The ride was beautiful. We found a rather crowded beach for a Tuesday. Both of us prefer a less crowded venue, so we found a good lunch spot and thought about how we’d spend the rest of the day.
After lunch, we headed north for the state park. We walked on the uncrowded beach, examining shells and rocks and the many horseshoe crabs. We talked to the fisher folk. Spot was the popular catch of the day.
We learned that most people just group all gulls together. They had no idea what kind of gull we were seeing.
Just when we were about to call it quits on the survey, we asked one more person and bingo!
The Napoleon Gull.
Our day on the beach was winding down. We walked back to the car, deciding to take a slightly different route back. We felt feeling confident we couldn’t go far wrong with the GPS.
Once we got through the commercial beach roads and their outlet stores, our ride home was just as scenic as before. We saw lots of thriving green fields, produce stands, beautiful clouds, and old farm houses.
We drove by a large field that had a giant irrigation system on wheels. It nearly spanned the length of the field and was made of metal. When you approach one from behind (which I had never done), and you use your imagination, it looks like a dinosaur skeleton at the Smithsonian. Kind of. When I saw that, I (ever the optimist) thought…Well, if we don’t see a buffalo, at least we have seen a ” dinosaur”.
And it was just after that thought that we rounded the corner only to see… a bison farm.
In the background beyond the fence stood not one, but several buffalo large and small. Who knew?
You put them out there and “hold a space” for them without any expectation or forcing or figuring.
It’s always a good idea to go about your day with a your antennae up.
Have you seen your buffalo today?
Been exploring a lot lately. Not the typical adventurous Indiana Jones-type explorations…like exploring a cave on the side of a mountain in Peru or diving in the coral reefs just off the coast of Australia. Nope. These are the “road less traveled” kind.
I have a ritual that I strive to honor every morning.
I consciously set a daily intention. Examples: I set my intention to be open to the possibilities around _________ (fill in the blank). I intend to stay in a joyful state of mind all day and see what effect it has on my day. Thing is, I used to forget to listen and look for the positive nods and messages from the universe in response to the daily intention. This all changed one day.
I was just about finished with the foundational education I have chosen for my Life and Business Coaching certification. I wondered, “What’s next? How will I make the leaps into the next levels of my business? How will I keep the level of joy that is so important to me as I increase my responsibilities? What if it doesn’t go as I am envisioning?” …. yadda, yadda, yadda. Babble, babble, babble.
Any of this negative self doubt monkey mind talk sound familiar?
A saying came back to me: “It is always darkest before the dawn.”
That may be a tad dramatic, but for grins, indulge me a moment and you will see the brightness that comes with the “dark side.” By dark side, I mean:
I decided to get closer to my dark side. Was it real? Or just the smoke and mirrors that my ego likes to play with from time to time?
Armed with my daily intention of getting to the truth of these matters, a new awareness came over me. I realized that a recent series of events were the positive nods and messages in response to my intention.
My mentor coach asked me:
“If money were not an issue, would you still be coaching?”
This got me to thinking about all of the things that I enjoy in life…
One of my sisters read an article to me about a man who has patchworked several part-time jobs to keep his income level in a happy place and found an inner happiness that took him by surprise.
I found that taking a part-time job that brought me in closer contact with people on a day-to-day basis made me happy. It wasn’t so much the extra cash, but the feeling of community that did that for me.
A friend, an entrepreneur, sent me a blog post that she was thinking about publishing and wanted another set of impartial eyes to review it. It was basically about reinventing oneself. More specifically, it was about how to set yourself apart from the others, who may offer something similar business-wise. You set yourself apart by offering a unique value.
:: A positive nod ::
I very unexpectedly ran into two former co-workers …who are now successful entrepreneurs. I stumbled into one of their shops. I had coached them a few years ago while we worked for the same company. They took the time to thank me for the lessons learned, which they are now applying to their businesses.
:: a positive nod ::
These “events” are all around us. It’s actually amazing (and quite fun) to see what what you get when you pay attention…because when you do, the universe will happily dance with you and your explorations.
You just have to tap into your awareness.
These nods and messages have been what I needed to help me move forward into the brightness and away from the dark side.
And back to the question my mentor coach asked me, in case you were wondering …. the answer is yes.