healthy living - mind, body, and soul

Stop “Shoulding” All Over Yourself


Surrender the timing and the how. Live in the excitement of now.

-Jess Lively


We all have an attachment to how our life “should” be, right? I’m totally guilty! As a teen, I thought I’d be married in my early twenties with a few kids. Why? Because that was my example growing up, so it was obviously how my life should be too.


When that didn’t happen – and thank God it didn’t – I then shifted my thought process and figured it was okay to get married in my late twenties and then have a few kids. That’s what my sisters did, so I should too, and it’d still be acceptable, right? I even made a list of what I should have “accomplished” and by what age.


  • Get married by 28
  • Have my first baby by 30
  • Second baby by 32
  • Third baby by 34


Well, I got one thing “right”! I got married at 28, just about two weeks before my 29th birthday. Score! Things were on-time!…


Until they weren’t.


I got divorced just three days before my 31st birthday. And nope, I certainly didn’t have any kids – so that’s where the checks on my list ended. Exactly one thing went according to plan. But, here’s the thing – life rarely goes as planned, which brings me this quote as well.


Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

– John Lennon


So true. I am about to be 33, I am not married, I have no kids. And it’s okay! After getting divorced, it was tough to accept that my life was nothing like I thought it should be. But as Jess Livley always says, stop “shoulding” all over yourself. It’s just not helpful.


From listening to Jess Lively, taking her Flow With Intention Online course, and doing Yoga With Adriene, I kept hearing them repeat “all is well”, “you are exactly where you are meant to be”, “the universe has your back”. I began to let this sink in and started to accept that there is nothing wrong with my life and with where I am currently at. Sure, it’s not where I thought I’d be, yet it’s exactly where I am meant to be.


The quote at the top up there is from when I took Jess Lively’s FWIO course. She did these group coaching calls and whenever she said something that hit home, I quickly wrote it down. She’s very relatable and quite quotable! And it’s through taking her course and learning to delve into my emotions (see my Alignment Time post) that I was able to become so incredibly self-aware. And I couldn’t be more thankful.


Between Jess Lively and Adriene Mishler (Yoga with Adriene), I have gained the courage to accept and LOVE myself for who I am, as I am. I’ve learned to give up control – it’s an illusion anyway – and just be. There is nothing wrong with where I am currently at in life. Whenever I think to myself, I should do this or that, I should be in this place by now, I stop myself. It’s simply not helpful. I remind myself time and time again that everything happens for a reason and I am exactly where I am meant to be.


The Jess Lively quote reminds me to let go of my attachment to accomplishing things within a certain time-frame. It reminds me to not get caught up in the “how” of getting myself to where I am meant to be, and I always remind myself that what is meant for me will never pass me by.


It’s been quite a practice to surrender the timing and the how, to not have an attachment to any outcome, and to be fully present in life. It is refreshing to truly live in the now and allow my life to unfold as it is meant to. I tell myself everyday that God has a plan for my life and that His timing is perfect.


Like I said, I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. And I know I’ll end up in life exactly where I am meant to be. It’s a practice every day to release my attachment to certain outcomes. It’s like a kicking, screaming 5-year-old, right? – I WANT IT NOW. But again, I remind myself to release that attachment and allow life to unfold.


So please, do yourself a favor, and stop shoulding all over yourself. Live in the now and just breathe. All is well and all will work out exactly as it’s meant to. And really, that’s the beauty of life – the unknown. I am all for letting life surprise me and it’s entirely freeing.

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