I'm not earning enough money, I'm not earning any money, I don't have a career, I need more clients, I'm overweight, I should exercise more, I shouldn't have shouted at my children, I ought to have got more done today, I haven't got in touch with my friend for two weeks, I watch too much tv, I ought to socialise more, I should have got better grades...any of these sound familiar?
Whatever the details and content of your own voice, the tone is likely the same - critical, nagging, judgmental, harsh. How often do we beat ourselves up, tell ourselves we're failing, not good enough, lacking in some way? And how do we measure this failure? How do we define our success? When I sat with this I realised that usually it was some external criteria, something that I needed to do or achieve. And if I tune in to what I feel in my body when I hear this voice, I feel shut down, tight, sad, small. And this voice is so pervasive, cropping up frequently throughout the day, sometimes even disguised as being helpful to urge me to be a better friend, colleague, person. But these beliefs, thoughts, habits are flawed - they take away our peace, connection, care, compassion and acceptance of ourself. And if we're not loving and accepting of ourself, then how can we love and accept anyone else? If we're at war inside and with ourself then is it any wonder we experience conflict in our lives? We can choose differently. We can choose to step away and into remembrance of who we really are; to relate to ourself with deep care, kindness, compassion and allow our heart to stay softly open and quieten into moment by moment focus and presence.