The “S” Word~and I’m not talking about Sparkle & Shine

Over the past year, I’ve been working on eliminating the S word from my thoughts and vocabulary.  Words have power.  This S word can completely dim our inner lights and if used too often we will live lives where we are going through the motions, but we aren’t feeling alive. To live brightly and feel alive, we must be connecting with our inner Spark daily.  We must be utilizing our gifts and talents and passions. We must play to our strengths in our lives.  This is what helps us get on that upward spiral of positive energy.  When we’re in that flow, life rises up to meet us.

This one word can take us way off course from living from our strengths and passions and can definitely dim our Spark.  You’re probably wondering by now what word I’m talking about. I bet you know it. The word is should.  Yep, you know that word, don’t ya? More often than not, this word in no way helps us be of service to the world.  Most people are shoulding themselves to death-obviously not literally but definitely so much that they no longer feel truly alive. 

Take a few minutes now and get out a piece of paper and pen.  I’m serious, for change to occur in your life you must take action, not just think about it. Get out that piece of paper and your sparkly purple pen…

Now, write in steam of consciousness here~don’t think too much or get caught up in analyzing or rationalizing, just let your thoughts flow without second guessing or judgment.  Are your ready?

Write down “I SHOULD” in big bold letters at the top of your page, and then let all the shoulds in your life flow out of you.  For example, when I did this exercise some of mine included:  I should be a good girl. I should not want a lot of money. I should always avoid conflict. You get the idea.  Now it’s your turn…get real & go for it…finish up before reading on.

Are you finished writing your shoulds?  Any surprising ones come up? So many of our shoulds can be traced back to childhood.  We are no longer children, right?  Why are we holding on to these thoughts and beliefs that do not serve us and therefore others?  When we are making decisions in our life based on shoulds we are stripping ourselves of our innate personal power.  If we should do something, and we don’t do it, in our minds and hearts it makes us wrong, bad, a failure.  Our power of choice is stripped away. 

What happens if we change all those shoulds to coulds?  Do that now.  On your paper, cross right through that dark should word, and write “COULD.” That one simple shift of words opens up new possibility and gives us back our personal power and choice.  I could be a good girl. I could not want a lot of money.  I could do anything to avoid conflict.  Could opens up a big, wide world of possibility.  Could allows us to choose.  This freedom of choice is empowering. 

Sometimes we make decisions consciously from a place of should; however, quite often, we are making decisions unconsciously from deep-rooted beliefs about what we should or should not do or be. We must start to get still, tune in to our inner Spark, and make choices based on what gets our internal fire burning, what excites us, what makes us feel joyful and alive.

If you start notice that you are shoulding yourself often, begin opening to that simple shift of could.  Completely let the nasty S word go from your vocabulary.  Act from a place of true desire.  I won’t say you should do this, but I will say if you do, it will  jumpstart your inner Spark, so you can shine even brighter.  You could do it.  The choice is yours.

If you’d like to take the courageous act of sharing some of your shoulds (this can help bring to light hidden shoulds that others might also have but not realize), please leave some comment love.  I would also encourage you to write the could version, too.  Get in the habit of reframing and shifting now.

Shine Brightly,

Leslie ~Sparkling Yogini

p.s. This exercise is modeled after a section of Louise Hay’s book, You Can Heal Your Life. It’s a fantastic and fascinating read.  Louise Hay is an about to be 85-year-old woman who still sparkles and shines incredibly brightly!  Her inner wisdom is a true light in this world.

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2 Responses to The “S” Word~and I’m not talking about Sparkle & Shine

  1. Kristin says:

    I found that if I change the ‘should’ to ‘could’, I still feel that it is a condition and will not happen…I instead think it through with “I can”. A positive thing that I noticed in doing this, is that even though I do “should” myself, I internalise that as I WILL and CAN, just one day- YAY for me, I should myself in a positive way:). For me, it’s making it happen NOW- if that makes sense. If I say “could” then I follow it with “but…I won’t”.
    For example, things on my list I should do, and will do, ONE DAY:
    I should:
    – clean out the 2 spare bedrooms (well, I know I will, ONE day)
    -exercice ( I WILL, one day…)
    -start reviewing the new book for a class I will teach next year (yep, will do that one as well, one day)
    -clean the deck, it’s caked in pollen and spider webs, yuck (one day…)
    -volunteer…Now here’s one that I may not do one day. As an educator so much unpaid time is already dedicated to kids.
    Thanks Leslie!


    • Kristin~Thanks for sharing your list, and I totally hear ya about needing that extra push to get things done. In the post, I was talking more about the deeply ingrained shoulds about who we are and should be and what we should do from our childhood (I should follow the rules. I should be a good girl. I should never talk back. etc). I know we all have that list of shoulds that are more a list of things to do or get done. Perhaps in the case of your list, if they are things you really want to get done, you could change the “should” to “will.” Thanks so much for leaving some comment love. See you soon!
      Shine Brightly,

Thanks so much for sharing your shine & leaving some comment love!

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