Start Where You Are

There’s a quote that floats around the internet that says:

What screws us up the most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be. ~ Unknown

Whenever it gets shared, I think to myself ‘true…but not quite.’  Because the problem is not the picture in your head of how life is supposed to be.  The problem is the gap between the life you are living and that picture.  More specifically, the problem is the discontent, stress, sadness and guilt that come up because of that gap.

So, what do you do about it?

start where you areI am not going to tell you to just be happy with your life in this moment. This week’s opportunity in the Year of Transformation is not about being grateful for what you have or anything like that (not that gratitude isn’t important…it’s just not what we’re talking about today).

What I am going to tell you is to let reality be true.  To allow your reality instead of fighting against it. Because when you fight with reality, you lose 100% of the time.

I don’t want to confuse this with accepting the reality of your life as the status quo and settling cozily into it.

What I do mean is simply to let reality be true and stop fighting with it. When you can honestly stop fighting reality and just sit in the truth of what is, in the moment, all the fight goes away. All of the would haves, could haves and should haves melt away. And from that place there is true power to then create (or co-create) a new reality that is more in alignment with what your heart and soul most desires. You can tap into the creative flow of possibility for the future that stems from the neutral moment of NOW without being chained to what you feel you need to ‘fight against’ in the current reality, which is really about what happened in the past…even though that past may be just 1 second ago. That is a place of infinite capacity for change for yourself and the world.

The key here is to practice noticing when you hear yourself (out loud or in your head) saying ‘would have,’ ‘should have,’ or ‘could have’. These are the cues that you are fighting against your reality. They are an opportunity to simply stand in the truth of your life.

When you stand in the truth of your life, you are better able to start where you are. There is power in simply owning the truth. When you let all the woulds, coulds and shoulds go, you are free to move forward.

Start Where You Are – The Exercise

If it feels right to start where you are, let’s explore how to get started.  The first step is to simply spend time noticing when you find yourself thinking about or speaking about the woulds coulds and shoulds.  What you would have done differently. What he/she should be doing for you now. What could have happened if you had known what you know now.

When you notice those thoughts or words, make it a discipline to stop and examine that thought.  Because here’s the awesome thing about those thoughts. They help you to see clearly what it is that you do want in your life as much as they are reminders of what it is that you wish wasn’t happening.

If you find yourself ruminating again on how you should have sold your house last year (or the year before, or the year before that!) because of the basement that gets damp every spring and you just don’t want to be the one to deal with it, you can choose to keep wishing you should have sold it.  Or, you can recognize that there is an opportunity here to either sell the house OR get the basement fixed so that you can stop wasting energy on wishing what was different.  That ‘should’ is pointing you in a new direction.

So as you notice those shoulds, woulds and coulds, take the time to examine what direction they are pointing you in. Your opportunity this week in our year of transformation is to begin to develop a discipline of letting go of your coulds, woulds and shoulds as you begin to see clearly what it is that you most want.

Are there any woulds, coulds or shoulds that you already know you’re holding onto. What is the direction that those coulds, woulds and shoulds are pointing you in? I’d love for you to share what came up for you over on my Facebook page.

Photo Credit: Jana Stiller |

Follow Rachel Bolton:

Rachel is a coach supporting women to rediscover who they are beyond the *shoulds* of life. To create and live life on purpose.

Latest posts from

Leave a Reply