How Many “Shoulds” Get in Your Way?


“I’m going to take your pulse.”

wildflower blooming after rain March 8 2016I always say this to my new Jin Shin Jyutsu clients, after we’ve chatted for a while, and when we’re ready to begin the session.

They often reply, “Oh no! It’s going to be bad.”


Too fast, too slow, to strong, too weak. too irregular, too… something.

What would you say, if someone were about to take your pulse at this moment? Would you feel ready to be listened to, on that level? Or would you feel that your pulse should be, well… different than it is?

Sometimes, our feelings of “Should” stop us in our tracks. You know, that feeling that something about yourself, or the present moment, or the way life is, “should” be different.

Sometimes a moment of truth brings us into focus with the things we most want to change.

For example, I hear a lot of people say, “I’d like to do Yoga, but I’m not flexible. I should be more flexible first.” (I find myself wondering – how is that going to happen?) Since I do coaching, often with fellow entrepreneurs, I also hear, “I’d like to develop my business, and get myself out there, but I should have a better website first.” (Just as ‘not true’ as the Yoga “should.”) One of my favorite examples came when a friend of mine found out she was pregnant. “Oh no,” she cried – “I only have nine months to get my sh*t together!” We had a good laugh-cry about this.

It’s such a strange and scary feeling, this “should” feeling.

The common denominator here is a “should” getting in the way – in the way of life. The idea that we would be better Ava Menut mixed media March 2016if we were different.

As compassionate beings, always, of course, there are things we would like to change, or to see changed. But sometimes, also, this feeling that we, or things, should be different, cuts us off from our sense of capability, of openness, in the now, and for that reason, becomes a block on the path forward.

Is there a “Should” getting in the way of your sense of freedom in moving forward on your path? In fulfilling your potential? Or maybe a “should” in the way of your enjoyment of the present moment? (Hmmm… I should be working out… I should be productive… I should return 9,000 emails…)

Is there a “should” in your way? If so, whose voice does it speak in? Is it really your voice? (Hint: if it isn’t kind, it isn’t yours.)

To return to the Jin Shin Jyutsu example, I explain that I’m not listening for what’s “wrong” – I’m listening for the harmony. (It’s always there, somewhere.)

This brings up possibly the most scary idea of all – what if there is absolutely nothing wrong with me/you?

What doors would open for you, if you believed this to be true of yourself?

And in the meantime, on the way to (possibly) believing this, what “shoulds” are in the way of moving forward with the choices your soul is longing to make? Is there a way to turn down the volume on the “shoulds,” to befriend yourself and step forward?

(Send me an email, and let me know! I always love hearing your thoughts.)

This week, let’s listen deeply, and let’s shrug the “should’s” from our shoulders, so we can be guided by our sense of congruence with who we are, who we are becoming, and what we know to be true.


Living Joyfully: “Just Kind”p.s. I am super excited about my upcoming workshop at Eponaquest, May 20-22, 2016. It’s called Leading from Within: An Enlightened Approach to Getting the Life you Want. I’ll be sharing ancient wisdom that is now on the cutting edge of leadership – helpful for better relationships with co-workers, clients, romantic partners, family members & children, helpful for engaging in more filling work – and best of all, co-creating the life you want to be living. Registration will open soon – email me for more details!