From "Should" to "I Would Enjoy"
by Cassendre Xavier
It’s important to notice when we are having a “should” thought. Usually, when “should” appears, it is a clue we are forcing ourselves to do something we don’t really want to do.
I’ve been noticing more often when I’m having a “should” thought.
I was walking home the other night and I thought, “I should go home and make stationery.” Then I realized I didn’t want to. I tried to think of why, and I realized I didn’t want to work in the kitchen, or my room, or the bookstore on the first floor of my apartment complex, which I have free access to.
Then I realized I wanted to be somewhere else. I allowed my heart and my gut to reach out and it felt like I wanted comfort. So I followed that feeling. As I walked home, I ended up at a café a few doors from where I live. I saw someone in the window, we smiled, I walked in, and was greeted by fresh kale. “The kale attracted me here!” I exclaimed, as I began giving hugs to the patrons, who knew me. I ended up not making stationery, but feeling wonderful, having great conversations, networking with folks, and trading a massage with a fellow massage practitioner.
Today, I again had a “should” thought. “I should exercise”, I thought.
Then I wondered, “What about this is undesirable to me?” I realized that the forms of exercise that were immediately available to me, were unpleasing. I didn’t want to run outside, or do callisthenics in my bedroom. Then I thought, “Why do I want to exercise?” Answer: Because in 5 years, I want to see the benefits of my efforts. I want the results that regular exercising now will bring: improved fitness, appearance, and clarity of my spiritual channel for better communication with the Divine and with departed loved ones.
Then I asked, “How can I transform the should into an I would enjoy?” Answer: What kind of exercise would be fun and is immediately available to me? That is bicycling and tennis. That solved the problem!
So I invite you to try this exercise:
If you ever find yourself thinking, “I should…do something…”,
1) Notice that you’re using the word “should”.
2) Ask yourself why you want to do this thing – what is the desired outcome or result?
3) Replace “I should” with “I would enjoy”.
4) Describe what it would take for you to enjoy the originally “should” activity.
We are meant to enjoy life to the fullest. The way we do that is to be in the present moment and try to feel good at what we do. “Should” is a departure from that; it’s a forcing. It’s going “upstream”, as Abraham-Hicks’ Law of Attraction teaches us. And as the recovery movement says, we don’t want to be “should-ing all over ourselves!”
May you live in the flow of your joy, from moment to moment, knowing, and doing, as often as possible, not what you “should” do, but what you enjoy doing.
Love and light!
Cassendre Xavier is an award-winning multi-media healing artist and community organizer. A first generation American born citizen of Haitian and Chinese heritage, she coined the term "renaissance negresse" in 2002 to describe her work as a musician, author, visual artist, and actress. Cassendre sometimes works under the names Amethyste Rah and Amrita Waterfalls, also identifies as a lightworker-in-training, and has been involved as a producer of books, audio and video recordings, as well as a peer support group facilitator in the personal growth, spirituality, and recovery movements since 1991. She is the founder and executive director of Philadelphia's 8th Annual Black Women's Arts Festival as well as the Women’s Writing & Spoken Word Series. For more information, please visit http://cassendrexavier.com.
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