| I should tell him/her what I really think
| I should drink more water
Now, listen to the voice that usually wins out. It speaks to us like this:
| I need a drink
| I deserve a little treat
| I need an escape
So, how do we balance out these voices and do what is in our overall best interest? When does "I should" come up for you?
Pay attention to how you feel about yourself in all kinds of situations. When do you feel peaceful and happy? Confident? Insecure? Worthless? You don't have to do anything right now. Just notice.
Pay attention to the various kinds of addictions people indulge in -- overeating, overspending, gambling, compulsive working, and above all, addiction to perfection. Just notice what's going on around you. And what's going on within you.
Notice any judgments that come up. Do you automatically criticize yourself for thinking, feeling, saying or doing certain things? What do you like or dislike about yourself?
Begin the process of accepting who you are today. Pick just one thing you don't like about yourself and practice thinking of it in positive terms.
Look for what you can do, not what you can't. Maybe you can't go to a gym today, but you can go for a walk. Maybe you can't go for a walk, but you can touch your toes 10 times. Just because you can't do everything doesn't mean you can't do something.
Every time you catch yourself doing something right, let that register with you. I've adopted the posture of professional tennis athletes when they make that perfect shot: it's an arm pump with a big "yesssssss." I often do this silently, yet I know it registers within.
Practice active appreciation. Remember the universal law that whatever you focus on and show gratitude for over time will increase in your life. And stop playing the comparison game. Just focus on your personal best.
Make a list of the ways you avoid taking care of yourself. Maybe it's procrastination; maybe it's getting distracted. Are you always saying "yes" when you sometimes want to say "no?"
And remember. We all need to crawl before we can walk. And walk before we can run.
Linda Arnold is a certified wellness instructor and CEO of The Arnold Agency, an advertising, public relations and government relations firm. Reader inquiries may be directed to Linda Arnold, The Arnold Agency, 117 Summers St., Charleston, WV 2530l or e-mailed to livinglifefu...@arnoldagency.com.