I don’t know about you but one of the things I’ve noticed about myself is that I don’t like to be bossed around. Like any self-confident six-year old I know that “I’m the boss of me,” but there’s that recalcitrant part of me that acts out against obeying orders – from anyone. A sure way for me to do something is to set a hard and fast rule that I can’t or shouldn’t do it. So when I start telling myself that I should get out the door to exercise and I shouldn’t eat that piece of cake, I can be most assured that I won’t listen to myself and I will do exactly what my six-year self wants.
To-do lists may be right for most people but for me, they’re a list of things I won’t do. Fortunately, although I’m a pretty smart person, I’m pretty easy to trick and that’s exactly how I accomplish most stuff that doesn’t involve a commitment to someone. If I tell you I’ll meet you for the event, I will be there and be on time. If I say to myself that I probably should go to the event by myself, it’s likely that when the time comes to leave I’ll dissemble into an excuse-making machine at the slightest obstacle, be that fatigue or a slight hint of a drizzle. Worst of all, I believe every word I think. The words are my obstacles.
If I’ve announced to you that I’m off eating desserts, well, I might not eat in front of you but when I get home after thinking vivid thoughts about the food I wanted to eat and didn’t, I might retaliate by showing “the boss” who’s boss and eat whatever I damn well please.
Here’s where the wise-woman part of you can step in. You notice what kind of direction you respond to best. Look at how you make your choices, about food or movement or the people you hang out with. Consider whether your actions are supportive of your true desires or are they self-sabotaging?
If you’ve been using words to supervise yourself, you might switch to unadulterated images. Images without words, without judgment. See the self that you are, occupying a new space. A place in your own head where you are loved and appreciated. Self-care is the process of learning what words and images can support you in moving your actions into alignment with what really matters to you.
What images can you hold in your mind? What words help you get around the “boss” inside of you?