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What "should" I do to heal?

Why it’s important to replace “should” with “want” when you experience chronic illness.

"Should" is one of the most common words I hear from clients

So many of us arrived at experiencing chronic conditions because for years we weren’t fully true to ourselves. We were driven by those ‘should’s’ - driven by the overwhelming expectation of others and ourselves. The feeling that in order to be something, to be loved, accepted and fulfilled we must meet an expectation.

I now understand that this was true for me, both as a young child when I first became unwell and as an adult too.

It tells your nervous system you're not in control

How often do you find yourself saying the word ‘should’?

  • I should do more movement today…

  • I should be working, not resting…

  • I should be achieving more and progressing quicker…

  • I should see that person…

  • I should stay longer to be polite…

Every time you make a decision based on what you 'should', rather than what intuitively feels good to you and your body, you’re reinforcing to your nervous system that you come second, that you are not in control, that ultimately you don't have the choice - and that is interpreted as danger, as threat. The result is internal resistance, a lack of ease, dis-ease.

Decisions based on “want”, rather than “should”

But every time through healing you make a decision based on what you want, rather than what you feel you should, you’re communicating that you are now in charge, that you are the priority and that you are listening to your intuition, to your body's needs and what you truly want at you core. That allows your nervous system and those old trauma parts of you to begin to relax and regulate, to realise you've got this.

I'm realising personally that this is a hugely important focus for me. Choosing what I say yes and no to. Choosing when I leave a dinner or social event. Choosing movement my body actually wants. Choosing the lifestyle I want to live. Choosing to be vulnerable & have a voice. So, just reminder for this weekend - how are you going to replace 'should' with 'want'? Sending lots of healing love, James


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