Last week I arrived early at yoga and noticed two books set on the wooden seated risers. I identified right away that they were both philosophical books; yoga in and of itself is more of a philosophical journey rather than a physical one, however combined together create an ultimate fulfilling experience. One of the books was The Crossroads Between Should and Must: Find and Follow Your Passion by Elle Luna.
Initially I wasn’t particularly interested. I have read numerous self-helpy type books over the years in hopes to find a kind of spiritual awakening, however, with this book, I was more intrigued by the colors and illustrations as well as the comical humor I noticed within some of the passages. I decided to stand and read this prior to class beginning. The first day I began the book I didn’t think too much about what I had read and hadn’t gotten very far. All I knew was that I for sure wanted to continue reading the illustrated pages and calm reassuring voice of the author. The next day I arrived early once again and finally started getting into the more personally impactful messages within the book and really this is when another pivotal moment of my life has occurred.
I began to analyze areas of my life where I have really only ever lived in a state of should. I should lose weight, I should be prettier, I should have more friends, I should have any friends, I should hold my pen like this, I should be able to wear those kinds of clothes, I should be liked more, I should have a boyfriend. Really the list goes on, although that ‘should’ list is one from primary school. Ultimately some of my more unhappy times, which only grew into sickness before getting any better. At this point in my life I am so much happier and healthier, however, I never actually knew to take the time and really evaluate the course of my happiness and unhappiness in terms of should and must and never really viewed my unhappiness in this way.
I am very blessed that although my sickness did not inhibit me from achieving the lifestyle that I aspired to, it did prevent me from loving my selfness, finding personal happiness, and relationship happiness. What I find to help all of those stressors though, is definitely time. I mean, I am only 23, however, simultaneously, I am able to look back, reflect, and understand how my life has been shaped by all my experiences. Now I understand them to be vital to who I am now; for one, I attempt to always radiate happiness and positivity as I know how quickly and unknowingly small words and expressions can so completely change a person’s day. This for me is a must. I must be that person, I must be my own happiness, even at times when I am feeling low- because I know that I struggle in that area. I want to be a place of happiness for others and in doing so be a place of sunshine for myself.
In the book, the author, Elle, talks about how our musts must also turn into repetitive action. We must do this for ourselves in order to ensure our happiness as well as attain the life we wish to live. Because of this book, I have provided myself the time to not only write more (as I am now) but also take the time in the early morning with my favorite first cup of coffee to continue working on my social media business and web designs. This is a life I want, in order to attain it, I must contribute the work at the time I am best able to think – and so I have. I could not recommend this book more nor could I hope that you as well begin to analyze the shoulds and musts in your life.
It is quite terrifying to move away from the shoulds as they are a place of comfort and ease, however, unless you shed that skin you will never be fully happy or content in almost all aspects of your life. Take this day to analyze your shoulds and musts and create for yourself the life you actually know you want to live.
Peace, love, happiness, and cats – KB xoxo