Madeleine Eames

- Psychotherapist
- Mindfulness Teacher

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Moving from Shoulds to Wants

This blog sprung up from a Facebook post that had so much reaction, I’m going with it!

I have lived most of my life, from the time I was an early teen, from the question “What should I do?”.

What should I wear

What should I say, write, study, exercise, eat, vote, respond, 

This is ALL predicated on the question of what is right and what is wrong. 

Sadly, what I mostly mean is what is right for the world, my kids, my relationships… for the outside world.

As if there was a manual with 2 columns, right and wrong, and I was continually guessing what is in the “right” column. 

I’m not joking, this is how I have lived. 

And this is how it feels: serious, life-threatening even, stressful, like the world (or my family health rests on me, heavy, 

and like I will probably never get it right, but have no choice but to keep trying. 

This is SO programmed into us, men and women, but it shows up in different ways. 

I’ll go with the perspective of a white, middle class hetero woman since that is what I am.  Like many of us, I am not in basic survival mode. 

I’ll never get it done.

I have to get this right.

I cannot disappoint people.

What if they judge, criticize, get angry, or get hurt?

Luckily I have moved through the last one, but still the question remained:

What should I do? Today, this week, with my one wild and precious life?

This makes me sad and even anxious writing it because it’s such a no-win situation. 

It is different than asking a friend for advice, what should I do about xxx?

It’s about how I should live my life in order to be better, smarter, more fit, woke, kinder, compassionate, ______ fill in the blank. 

Never-ending guilt and shame for not measuring up. 

This is what ever single woman I speak with goes through. Why?

Here’s why: it has never been safe for millennia for women to speak up, step out or pursue their desires.  We see examples all over the world of women being villified and this affects us subconsciously.  Feeling safe in our nervous systems is not the baseline, physically and emotionally. 

To dare to ask a different question is to step into a radically different way of life that is NOT supported by the mainstream. 

The question is: What do I truly want and desire?

Sound easy? Try it.

If it’s not easy, you are not alone. 

I’ve got some amazing research on this to share with you next time and what are the factors that will make it easier. 

Super exciting, super scary and it might not be exactly what you think.

Stay tuned.

 

 

 

 

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