Am I allowed to say that?
Am I allowed to eat this?
Am I allowed to not want to eat this?
Am I allowed to wear these clothes today?
Am I allowed to talk to men like that?
Am I allowed to get excited?
Am I allowed to do this?
Am I allowed to be comfortable?
Am I allowed to dance this way?
Am I allowed to want to do this?
Am I allowed to show affection to one person and not the other?
Am I allowed to look smoking hot?
Am I allowed to not want to drink that?
Am I allowed to in-joy this?
Am I allowed to go to bed early?
There are a lot of “Am I allowed to’s” there Emily… why?
Well, you see… I’m scared if I open my mouth or do something, I might cause a reaction from someone.
Well then, they might be upset or not as happy as they were before.
And is that your problem?
Well, no, it’s not really… not if I was just being me.
So why the “Am I allowed to’s?”
Well, it’s a question of “Will I hurt someone if I do that?”
So you’re saying, someone else should give you the permission for something you want to do, according to what mood they are in that day?
Erm, well, yea, I guess I am…
Now that just doesn’t make sense, does it?
No, no it doesn’t.
Am I allowed to be this way?
And what way is that?
Me… happy, sad, excited, showing it all, whilst being responsible, regardless of what people are going to think…
Well, I’d say so.
Yea… I’d say so too.
Am I able to care for myself?
Am I able to BE myself?
Am I able to love myself?
Now there’s “able’s”?
Yea, because now it’s up to me to make the decision… and my capability at being amazing.
And how is that capability?
I’d say it’s pretty darn good.
True freedom is loving the body I’m in, accepting and loving who I am and allowing myself to be rid of those ‘Thought Monsters’.
True freedom is not something someone else can give you, but what you give yourself – self love and self care.
I have been thinking a lot about my “allowed to’s” lately and have found that I calibrate what or basically who I am going to be depending on who I am around, so as to not ‘disturb the peace’. This probably isn’t an unusual thing; I’m guessing we all have “Thought Monsters” running around in our head saying what we can and can’t do. Don’t get me wrong, there are some things I definitely can’t do – but I don’t feel limited by these things when I make the choices to not do them, I feel confident and content with these choices.
It’s when there’s that pulling away from my initial response, that moment where it was there, where I had the chance and then it slipped away sort of thing…. I am learning to minimise these moments: if I feel like saying this or doing that, I will try my best to do it, and try my best to stay me regardless if it shakes anyone a bit.
Then with the realisation of these ‘Thought Monsters’ there has also been the trying to sort out the ‘Thought Monsters’ from the true thoughts. There is a difference here because the true thoughts don’t feel like monsters to me when I have them – there is no drive or push or fear behind them like the Thought Monsters have, just an openness, respect and realisation. Like me saying, “I shouldn’t be eating this piece of cake right now” is a true thought… what told me to eat this piece of cake was the plain old Thought Monster.
And then there’s the “Why am I eating this piece of cake?” which is actually a true thought, ‘cause it’s asking for a reason and a realisation that something is not quite right.
And then there’s the lack of self-worth for eating the cake and feeling crap about myself – thoughts like “I’m going to get fat” or “I’ll look like a cake myself soon”… Those, my friends, are the Thought Monsters.
But then there is a catch there too, because my feeling this is showing me that obviously eating the cake caused me to feel not very good, and due to not feeling good I can see that the choice I made wasn’t right for me.
So, instead of bashing myself, I’m realising why (in most cases it’s ‘cause I feel alone, or tired, or want to bury some feeling beneath a big pile of cake), then I’m accepting my choice and moving on.
“Okay… cool, I’m actually not fat, I just feel crappy because of the choices I made.”
The ‘why’ sometimes doesn’t even matter, I don’t need a reason, just acceptance, and as long as there’s an “Oh okay, well… next time I’ll know better”, I’m taking responsibility for me.
Or even if there is just a “Yea okay, I feel crap… I did it again”, that’s all good too… we all slip up sometimes.
By Emily Newman, Mirani, Qld
Emily I found this to be true
‘True freedom is not something someone else can give you, but what you give yourself – self love and self care.’
So many of us are hopeless when it comes to self care and self love as it is not something we have been taught and was denied to us when we were young. I’m learning to love myself and to trust what I can feel in my body is true and not to be over ruled by my mind. Realizing that I do not think so that all the thoughts I have ever had were not mine to begin with has been a revelation in itself because if they are not my thoughts why am I bashing myself up and giving myself a hard time it makes no sense.
The sooner we catch the crap then it has less time to taint our lives and eventually like the Matrix we learn to avoid them as we feel them coming.
I so recognise this
‘So you’re saying, someone else should give you the permission for something you want to do, according to what mood they are in that day?’
The answer as a child would be yes because the adult in the family had the then power to make life miserable or not based entirely on their mood, it was a horrible way to exist.
This opens up a great conversation Emily, what were we’e thinking about on the way to shop or refrigerator before we’e took the cake out and started to eat it, so maybe a step back and feel the energy we’e are walking in and by re-imprinting our walks the food thing will pale into insignificance, as the amazing-ness of who we are will prevail over eating our cake?
Emily this is a great blog because we do have some very negative thoughts that we bash ourselves up with. I have been feeling into this and can feel that there is a part of me that wants to trash my body by eating sugar that will race me so that I cannot feel how sensitive I am to the outside world. If I lose my sensitivity I have lost my connection to the universe which to me is the most important thing in the world. Being able to feel the vastness and stillness of the universe is the wonder that resides in all of us. However many cannot feel this including me until recently because of the way we live our lives devoid of our sensitivity.
Well, it’s a question of “Will I hurt someone if I do that?” Of course this is a question we need to be mindful of, but we need to be clear we know the difference between being abusive, which is one thing, and us being ourselves naturally so, which can engender discomfort and jealousy in another. If being ourselves naturally causes another to feel where they are at and they choose to go into reaction, all we have done is offer them a point of reflection for their own evolution. A great reason therefore not to hold back and to not allow any doubts like these to interfere with our expression.
I used to question all the time was I allowed to think this or that speak this or not = so draining. Now more then ever I listen to my body then I know what is true or which is not = far less confusion.
Emily I liked your list of “Am I allowed to’s…?”, as it really highlights how often we can be unsure of what we are choosing for ourselves, and we want to feel safe first that others won’t react. I notice for me when I am in the authority of my own love the purpose is greater, I may know there will be reactions but the reflection I hold from how I live offers something amazing for others.
Acceptance and deep appreciation of oneself is the biggest healings we can give to ourselves.
This waiting for someone to give us permission is a classic reason why so many hold back what they have to offer the world. Time to live ourselves in full because then we will have, at the very least, been honouring of yourself.
Eating cake has slow lost it momentum and is drifting off my radar as the feeling it leaves me in does not and has not felt true in my body as you have shared Emily, it is a crappy feeling.
“The true thoughts don’t feel like monsters to me when I have them – there is no drive or push or fear behind them like the Thought Monsters have, just an openness, respect and realisation.” This is a very useful differentiation between those thoughts that are there to sabotage and derail us from expressing the power and grace of our true essence.
Beautiful when we are able to just be who we are.
Those thought monsters can drive us crazy if we don’t see them for what they are – interference. The other day I was struggling with some coursework for college and I knew that the task was simple but I just couldn’t get past this one point and the thoughts were ‘it’s too hard, I should give up’ and this went on for some time until I stopped to check what was really going on. After doing some Sacred Movement and feeling into what was going on (basically choosing to struggle and make things complicated) I felt very clear and instantly could see past the point I was stuck on. The giving up thoughts went and I was able to continue.
Truth and humour – an awe-some combination!
“True freedom is loving the body I’m in, accepting and loving who I am and allowing myself to be rid of those ‘Thought Monsters’.” And as you continue its not something anyone else can give you. But it takes feeling safe in ones own skin to be able to love oneself and feel confident to do so. Thus parenting our children to be self assured and loving – with everyone – is key.
I hadn’t really considered that self love was something we needed confidence to do, but I suspect there is something in that as so many find it a big step.
Letting go of those negative thoughts in favour of building a deep love and care for self, ‘True freedom is loving the body I’m in, accepting and loving who I am and allowing myself to be rid of those ‘Thought Monsters’.’
This just goes to show how we stunt ourselves with our beliefs of what we can and can’t do. All of this constant chatter just brings in indecisiveness and erodes our self-worth.
Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever get rid of the thought monsters and thinking that I probably won’t, is probably a thought from the monsters. I am realising more and more how when I eat cake or whatever, it allows the gap for the monsters to run amok but there is that question that needs to be answered and that is what caused the need for the cake in the first place?
I know those self judging thoughts quite well Emily, and when I am doing that I find I then want to go further into the fix it mode, getting more caught up in the mind, when as you say I can honestly accept that I made a choice that was not from love and in that acceptance a learning can be possible instead of the trap of judging and self bashing that goes on in the mind.
A joy to re read your blog and the playfullness of your writing, ‘True freedom is not something someone else can give you, but what you give yourself – self love and self care.’ Yes this can only come from within and from the loving relationship you have build with yourself and your body, this also brings a natural confidence which gives the Thoughtmonsters less space to do their thing instead you doing your thing.
‘True freedom is not something someone else can give you, but what you give yourself – self love and self care.’ Yes and it is a great way to live with ourselves, the confidence that comes from our connection with the love inside our body. The more accept and appreciate what we bring the less space there is for the Thoughtmonsters to ‘take over’.
We can really get ourselves tied up in knots, can’t we? When we lose connection to ourselves and try to please everyone else to fit in we can really compromise our expression. Simply connecting to our bodies, learning to self-nurture and care and breathing our own breath can really sort the wheat from the chaff, bringing an authority and empowerment that doesn’t sway to anyone else’s issues but holds us steady and true.
It is really a little back to front, why are we seeking permission or judging ourselves against outside standards to be ourselves?
How many times can we run with scenarios in our head that may never happen and only serve to wind ourselves up in the process and then feel down about everything? Then when we clock it and acknowledge the thoughts are nonsense you can really feel at that moment how much time has been wasted thinking about things that may never happen and the effect this has on the body – it’s just not worth it.
It is lovely to explore how we are different with different people because I find there is layers and it is also becoming so normal to be a certain way after a while that we then don’t realize it is actually not how we would naturally be and express. The exploration offers a lot of space for change, because as long as we are not aware of it we cannot change it.
Observing how we relate to different people is so interesting. When we clock how different we are with different people, that’s the first step to change.
“Am I allowed to”…. how exhausting! But what is most revealing is that we are knowingly choosing to be less and give our power away
Yes Joshua, it is exhausting to constantly ask for permission when we know what to do at each time just by simply asking ourselves: How does it feel?
Love your self love approach Emily. Self judgement affects us way more than any cake ever could.
Emily, this is a beautiful confirmation of how far you have come in re-turning back to the truth of your innermost essence. I love the play-fyll-ness of your conversation about the ‘Though Monster” and how we can clamp down on our expression when at the mercy of this.
Out the jealous misery police will be along any time now to arrest you – but they better watch out for your joy will end up arresting them.
Yes, and the key when the knowing leaves us is to come back to connecting.
This is a beautiful confirmation of your self, Emily. Thank you.
“I’m scared if I open my mouth or do something, I might cause a reaction from someone.” This has been such a huge one for me, and for many others I know. We don’t want to upset anyone so instead of speaking the truth we dilute it with a little bit, or a lot, of niceness. Well I’ve discovered there’s no true purpose in being nice, as it is really a form of lying and doesn’t serve anyone. The truth will probably come out in the end, so why not bring it out at the beginning?
Yes and whenever anyone holds back the truth from me I get this nagging feeling that something isn’t right, so the situation or conversation is never really complete.
“True freedom is loving the body I’m in, accepting and loving who I am” Such wise words – if we all get this we put an end to war.
Wonderful Emily, thank you for this. Learning how to be in life and to not absorb the reactions or conditions of others is a wise and soul-full path, because by not taking on and conforming to the needs of others there is a great potential for all of us to be equal.
Indeed so playfully posed Emily, how much do we give ourselves the permission to be fully who we truly are and live that for all so see?
Transforming the ‘am I allowed to’ into ‘am I able to’ is a great re-focusing, away from giving one’s power away through permission-seeking, towards claiming it back by giving ourselves permission and offering ourselves the opportunity to expand and fulfil our potential. Are we able to let go of the need to seek others’ approval, and absolutely love and cherish ourselves, to the max and in every moment?
Giving ourselves permission to be ourselves can be a seemingly daunting task when the whole world, it would seem is shaping us to be otherwise.
‘Then with the realisation of these ‘Thought Monsters’ there has also been the trying to sort out the ‘Thought Monsters’ from the true thoughts’. Trying to beat the head with the head can get us so caught up knots. I have been experimenting with the beautiful revelation that to change our thoughts we simply have to change our movements. It works every time!
We often treat negative thoughts as a primary problem, but if the quality of our movements eradicates them, then it’s possible the quality of our movements is also what lets negative thoughts in.
“True freedom is loving the body I’m in, accepting and loving who I am and allowing myself to be rid of those ‘Thought Monsters’” Those thought monsters are really annoying they can pop up anywhere, I find connecting to my body and moving with presence helps me to shake of those little critters.
Sometimes we take those self critiquing thoughts to be the true ones when in fact judgement towards oneself is never true and it is often this judgement that then leads us back into repeating the choices we have judged.
Freedom is something we give ourselves and it has nothing to do with doing ‘whatever we want’ or getting away with things. True freedom comes from the choice to be connected to and impulsed by soul.
I recognize this dialogue Emily, it plays out in a kind of unconscious way. Not wanting to make others uncomfortable or hurt.
But it is my birthright to be just me, the loving open me and It is to let go of worry-ing about others.
Just to give the reflection of joy is the way to go.
‘True freedom is not something someone else can give you, but what you give yourself – self love and self care.’ The freedom to make mistakes and to learn and grow, allowing space in our lives to embrace who we are and enjoy.
“The ‘why’ sometimes doesn’t even matter, I don’t need a reason, just acceptance, and as long as there’s an “Oh okay, well… next time I’ll know better”, I’m taking responsibility for me.” – I really love this take on how to handle when we make an unloving choice. It keeps things light and avoids the even worse scenario of self-bashing or the super heady ‘why did I do that’ which I am notorious for getting into a drive to find out.
Is it possible that our movements dictate our thoughts well before we have any kind of thinking? So then it is the energy we move in that will allow us to have thoughts? Then moving with divine connection aligns us to an energy that will keep our thoughts simple with no images of how we or others should be.