I have been trying to forget the shoulds lately.

We should stay home and clean house.

We went for a family bike ride instead.

I should be upstairs writing.

Or I could start a new show—Sweet Magnolias—just for me.

I should be happy being a stay-at-home mama.

I choose to be content with my day to day right now, having made choices that are different than what they might have been to keep our family safe during this crazy blip in life.

Spoiler alert: it’s really fucking hard. But just as I work on myself every day, I make the choice to rephrase what I’m thinking when I feel like I should do something. Don’t get me wrong, there are setbacks and shitty days where I lash out for no reason or yell at the kids instead of being able to calmly assess the situation. I am a human! Hiiiiii!

Kids Playing in August Sun - Old Orchard Park, Port Moody

Get rid of the shoulds ... do this instead.

But I have felt infinitely better since showing the shoulds the door when they come knocking! Making choices based on what’s best for me first, has given myself so much value and respect for the person that I am.

I don’t say all this to imply that I didn’t have respect for myself before, but I am learning to love myself in a way that I never have before.

Unconditionally.

And I almost want to say that this era for me of stopping living my life by the shoulds came when I read Untamed*, but I think it started well before that and the book just came with good timing, to solidify what I was already feeling. The confidence I see in other people, my husband coming to mind first, takes work! Being positive and thoughtful, takes effort and determination. As anything worth having in life should (HA).

One big topic on this for me is the body positivity movement. I read an article recently about body positivity on social media (linked here) and it sat well with me, that in one area of the world that sucks, help is on the way. There is so much going on around us, from Covid to BLM, that it’s nice to see that people being accepted for being themselves in one aspect of life is moving forward in a positive direction. I truly hope for the rest of the world that the rest follow soon. Starting with inner positivity—because that inside voice is going to be what impacts our kids’ generation from the root of the problem, out.

Anya Wyers Author - July 2020

Photo by Carol-Ann Photography

Before we go, I need a favour.

Can you think of one thing you feel like you should do today?

Do yourself a favour and don’t do it. Unless there is a bigger, grander reason than you “should” do it.

Just don’t.

And see what happens.

This all goes a lot deeper than the shoulds that are necessary, of course. We all have human needs, after all.

We are all unique individuals, with needs and wants and desires that do not reflect what is out there in the world, shown to us on Instagram, or preached to be the best by someone that we admire or look up to. Your brave will look a lot different than mine. As it should.

Saying good bye to those other shoulds,

Anya

*If you haven’t heard me rave about the book Untamed by Glennon Doyle, where have you been!? Check out my posts here and here for more.

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