How to be?

The idea of being… This concept keeps coming up for me in the past few days, the last few weeks really. Something came to me today though as I was working with clients. So as a concept its beginning to kind of gel a little more.

So, in counseling, traditionally, we have a lot of strategies, we talk about having a toolbox full of skills to manage… stress, to manage emotions, to manage relationships. And as I was talking with clients today, we were talking about those kinds of things. And it occurred to me again. We’re “doing”. We’re trying to DO something, rather than just being. These tools and strategies are about DOing. (I’m not bashing these skills, they are my bread and butter afterall, but I do think there is a better way to apply them or conceptualize them.)

Its kind of like.. *chuckle*.. (I laugh, again, because when I go to say this, as the thought formulates in my mind, I can hear how ridiculous it is.) Its like we are
trying to be, rather than just being. I mean what happens if we were to allow ourselves to just be, instead of trying to do the thing that we think is going to allow us to just be? I mean that’s what we are doing when we try. We end up just DOing rather than being.

We… try to exercise because that’s the thing that we think, or that we are told, is going to make us feel better; we try to meditate; we try to reframe our thinking or think a different way. What if I just allowed myself to think in a way that feels good?

Hmmm…. That kind of catches me up.. because the question that comes to mind is what about those thoughts that leave us feeling badly, in some way? The thoughts that tell us that we should be doing something else? Because I know those come unbidden. So, the whole idea of “I want to” rather than “I should”, that age old kind of struggle comes up.

How do we know what to listen to?

It comes back to listening to what our bodies, our minds, our souls need. What our soul wants to do. What our body needs, in that moment. And for some of us, sometimes the body does need to run, to exercise, and other times it needs to rest.

But, I think…  we get desensitized. We don’t know how to listen to our bodies anymore. The message is being sent to rest, but we think we have already rested too much, so we ignore the message and keep pushing on. And we become desensitized to the message because we tell ourselves that the message is wrong. So, what happens is we misinterpret the messages. We don’t know how to tell the difference anymore, which one to listen to; the one that says rest or the one that says we have rested “enough”.

I remember reading a study about a similar feeling, related to hunger, and how as a society we don’t eat when we are hungry, we eat based on other triggers, and we really get desensitized to whether we are hungry or full because we are so used to ignoring it and just eating whenever. Its the same kind of thing with our bodies needs and with our mind’s needs… our soul’s needs ABSOLUTELY! We learned a long time ago to ignore those messages! and to dismiss them, many times as unacceptable or inappropriate according to someone else’s values or ideas.

We’ve ignored and dismissed those messages so much so that we are out of touch with them completely now. We question them when they come up.

So, how do we get back in touch with that? How do we honor and value that voice in our heads? I have found that its generally a quiet, yet persistent one. Did yours speak to you today? If so, what did it say? If you’re not sure, what do you think it would have said, because that’s probably it! 🙂

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I am on a journey .... By title I am a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor. I have been called friend, girlfriend, wife, mom... among other labels. But I am a loving, caring being that lives through these labels and titles to help and heal others while I am here.

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