I recently had an A-ha! moment regarding my own self-tapes. After a sweet slumber I have 2 initial thoughts… Good Morning, Scarcity and Shame.
One of two tapes play in my head immediately upon waking.
1) “Ugh, I didn’t get enough sleep”
2) “Oh, I slept in too late, I should have woken up earlier.”
No matter what, I have not gotten it right (according to myself). I’m starting my day off in either scarcity (I didn’t get enough) or shame (I should have…).
This realization strikes me as I read Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection. Brown speaks of our mentality of scarcity and how it negatively impacts us. She quotes Lynn Twist, the author of The Soul of Money. Lynn writes:
“For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is ‘I didn’t get enough sleep.’ The next one is ‘I don’t have enough time.’ Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it.”
I am completely knocked over the head, slapped in the face, hit between the eyes with this concept. While Twist had nailed my first tape word for word, my second tape sounded different: me shaming myself.
I pride myself on continuously working toward being a more positive, mindful person. I feel as if I start most of my mornings off right, but it is obvious to me that these initial thoughts aren’t exactly putting a spring in my step. While I may get focused on the positive after these initial self-tapes play, try to push them away; they still exist in the first place. Time to knock these suckers out.
“Should haves” are so pointless. What does it matter? You should have but you didn’t. Two choices: learn from it and don’t do it again, or do it again and continue to focus on what you should have done. Exhausting cyclical behavioral pattern.
The next morning, I wake up at 3:00 am. I had gone to bed at 10:00 pm so 5 hours of sleep isn’t bad, but naturally my first thought is, “Ugh, I did not get enough sleep.” Man, it’s ingrained.
I stop myself and check in. How am I feeling? I am actually feeling refreshed. It is too early to get things really going, especially because I am on my honeymoon and if I stir too much I will wake my husband. So I decide to quietly sneak into the bathroom and take a shower.
This isn’t any shower. This is a shower in a suite at The One & Only Palmilla in Los Cabos. There is a large open bathing area that includes a large tub, a shower, and a stone bench splitting the two waterworks. This exquisite bathroom experience can only be elevated by the fact that there is a large window overlooking the vast, dark navy blue Sea of Cortez.
I turn on the water as I contemplate my craptastic self tapes. My mind goes to a lot of different places as I enjoy an early morning moonlit ocean view shower. I decide to lie down with a towel rolled under my neck as the water rains down on me. I lie there perfectly still, loving every minute of it. Then I heard myself think, “I’ve been in here for a long time; I should get out.”
There you go again, Blackman, should-ing all over yourself.
I stop myself and ask…
“Why should you get out?
Is there anywhere else you need to be? (at this point it is 3:45 am, so the answer is obviously NO)
Is there anything else you should be doing? (nope)
Are you enjoying yourself? (absolutely)
There is unlimited hot water and you feel amazing taking this lovely quiet time for yourself. Why are you potentially letting your shoulds ruin this moment?”
This led me to ponder my morning tapes of scarcity or shame:
“Don’t you trust that your body knows how much rest you need at any given time?
Don’t you know that if you do wake up crazy early, you can always carve some time out for a nap?
Don’t you know that if you sleep in later than you wanted, your body just may be communicating to you that you need more rest than you even know you need?”
I decide to trust my body from now on. I won’t judge it.
After these revealing questions are answered, I decide I will write a new script for myself. A new mantra of gratitude, not scarcity or shame, that I will start my every day with:
I think about all the ways that I am most hard on myself and this just flows:
Thank you for my beautiful body,
My big heart,
My gentle soul,
And my forever fierceness.
There. That’s better.
And then I stayed in the shower for another hour and a half. Pruned and happy and really, really clean.
Be nice to yourself; you’re always listening,
Miss Sarah B.
Sarah Blackman © 2017