The "S" Word


Years ago, a friend of mine told a group of us, “if you want to be my friend, don’t use the word, ‘should.’” As someone who’s never liked being told what to do, I could completely resonate.

I think it’s another reason I love yoga so much. An instructor might remind me to precisely align the center of my knee over my second toe, but she’ll also tell me to listen to my body, prioritizing its advice over hers.

That balance of advice and inner listening reminds me of my mother, who was the queen of balancing intrusiveness with letting us find our own way – a tricky scenario for any parent. It made any advice she gave us all the more compelling, because it was given with restraint as well as respect for our own inner wisdom and intelligence. It was the optimal setting for growth as individuals and as a family, and is a model I’ve strived to practice as a mother, wife, teacher and friend. If you’re a regular reader of my newsletter, you know I’ve been practicing it perfectly.

Many of us set resolutions each year based on societal shoulds that have been ingrained into our consciousness, sometimes diluting our inner wisdom. But when we begin from a place of connection with our own core needs, beliefs and passions while remaining open and curious to the wisdom (maybe even the shoulds) of others, the possibilities of individual and collective growth feel infinite. And isn’t that why we set resolutions and intentions in the first place?

What’s your balance of advice and inner wisdom saying these days? Are there areas in your life where you’d like to see more growth? Can you take some time to intentionally connect with your own core needs and beliefs while remaining open and curious to the possibility of growth?

I think you should!

Susan JohnsonComment