"Can" vs. "Should"
The words we use when we speak to ourselves have a meaningful impact on us. It’s fascinating to play around with pairs of them, testing out the effect that minor substitutions have. For example, we can experiment with substituting the phrase “I get to do this” when we might find ourselves thinking “I have to do this”. (Feeling like I have to write this blog post isn’t nearly as joyful as recognizing how lucky I am that I get to write it!) It’s also fun to play around with using “and” instead of “but”. The world seems to expand a bit when we use “and” in place of “but”. (There will be more on this in a future post).
A truly transformative, powerful effect can be experienced when we substitute the word “can” for the word “should”. It is especially empowering in our meditation practice. This week we will be cultivating our ability to approach everything that arises in life with an even-mindedness, and even-heartedness or, using a simpler term, cultivating our ability to remain calm. When presented with a challenge to our mental or emotional stability, how different does it feel right out of the gate to tell ourselves, “I can greet this with calmness”, vs. “I should be able to remain calm”? “Can” evokes an image of someone saying, “You’ve got this. I believe in you”, whereas “should” feels like someone pointing to where we want to be and saying “Why aren’t you there yet?” In fact, “can” and “and” seem to be of the same expansive, hope-filled family. “I can do this, and I will be able to handle this challenge.” vs. “I should be able to do this, but it’s so overwhelming.”
We invite you to join us this week as we cultivate our ability to remain steady in the flux of life. We’ll be doing it in the spirit of “can”, letting “shoulds” take a long-needed vacation.
May all beings everywhere without exception know and trust their inner strength,
Your friends at CMP
**Please note that there are no sessions on Monday because of Memorial Day, that this Wednesday we will meet at 12PM at Waveny Park in New Canaan instead of our usual location, and that Thursday will be our final Darien Library session of this series.
Community Sessions This Week
We hope you can join us at one of our community sits this coming week. All sessions are free and open to the public, suitable for new meditators and people with an established practice. There is no need to bring or wear anything special, and all sessions offered in libraries are done in chairs unless you prefer to bring your own yoga mat or meditation cushion.
Monday 7:30 PM - No session - MEMORIAL DAY
Tuesday 1:00 PM - Ferguson Library, 1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford
Wednesday 12:00 PM - WAVENY PARK, 677 South Avenue, New Canaan
Thursday 7:00 PM - Darien Library, 1441 Post Road, Darien - OUR LAST DARIEN LIBRARY SESSION OF THIS SERIES
Fairfield Library Monday Night Sessions @ 7 PM, Monday nights from July 1 to August 5.
Pop Up Meditation @ Waveny Park Wednesday May 29th 12:00 PM.