We fight ourselves so hard. We make things more complicated and more difficult than they have to be. We do this with the little things (what to eat, doing dishes and laundry) and with the big things. But it’s the fighting with all of the little things that really gets us stuck because it’s happening all the time. It’s the pattern so many of us run constantly, like music in the background that is always playing. So how do you stop it, or at least practice quieting that fight?
First, you recognize that it’s happening. This alone can create huge shifts, because this type of message from your inner critic is often so ingrained in how you function that you don’t even notice it anymore. Cues that it’s happening include negative self talk like:
“I can’t do anything right”
“I messed up again”
“I don’t deserve…”
“I don’t have enough time”
“I have other people whose needs have to come before my own”
Sometimes the cues come in your behaviors more than the self talk:
These fights can go on for so long and when they do, they start to influence who we are at sour core. Quieting the fight allows you to grow into your authentic self.
When you recognize that you are fighting yourself, you open the door to learning more about what you really want.
In this place of possibility you can ask yourself a simple question, “What do I want right now?”
The question is certainly easier to ask than answer much of the time, but the next step is asking the question and listening for an honest response.
I’ll share an example of a situation that comes up in my life because it serves as a good reminder that this is all practice and that there is not some simple quick-fix that is going to work 100% of the time.
It gets to be dinner time but I’m rushing around trying to finish things from my day. I begin to notice my hunger so I go into the kitchen to see what I have to eat. I open the fridge, and then close it deciding there’s nothing there that I want. I open the cupboard door. Same thing. I check the counter to see what’s out and none of that really appeals to me either. I’ll do this many times, sometimes taking a break to check my email as if somehow, magically, new food will appear in my kitchen and it will be exactly what I want. Each time that I go back, my hunger (and my frustration) is rising.
Many days, I’ll stop myself at some point and say to myself, “Wait. What do I really want right now?”
Sometimes the answer will be “I don’t know” and the loop of frustration will continue. Most of the time though, when I can step away from what I have and don’t have, what feels easy or difficult, I can tune into my body and discover what it is I want, whether it’s protein, salad, a refreshing smoothie or one of my easy go-to meals.
The recognizing and asking are keys to quieting the fight, but the foundation of it all is in creating ritual.
When you create ritual within your day to day life, all of the little places start to be infused with ease instead of overwhelm.
You create ritual in your closet by filling it only with clothing that you love. Then getting dressed each morning becomes an act of self-love, everyday.
You create ritual in your eating habits by filling your kitchen with nourishing choices, so no matter what you choose to eat, it fills you on many levels.
You create ritual around the seemingly mundane tasks and suddenly the dishes, the laundry, the cleaning up the clutter become ways to care for your environment, and by extension, yourself and your family.
Ritual does not have to mean whatever you have been taught by others that it means. Ritual is yours to create and define.
In the month of October, we will be gathering as a community to explore in the Sacred Ritual Everyday. If you join us for this journey, by the end of October, you will have taken great strides in quieting the fight within you.
Peace, Love, and Wellness,