This morning an email landed in my in-basket from the Hallmark Channel. They invited me to enter a contest for a chance to travel to the set of one of their t.v. shows, which was a gorgeous, pine-tree-lined, seaside escape that made me immediately sigh out loud and long to be there. On clicking through, I found an engaging website that got me clicking to learn more about the characters just so I could see the beautiful scenery.
It was idyllic. It was me. It looked exactly like the place I see in my head when I imagine so many of my own adventures.
It was where I wanted to be, and somewhere along the way I got hooked on the idea of the show itself. It had that warm, homespun feel to it, like a visual and emotional cocoon, where you knew you were going to be surrounded by people you cared about in the kind of place that made you feel absolutely homesick not to be there.
I had to watch it.
And then there it was: the sound of the other shoe dropping.
What would people think? It doesn’t look like the kind of high-minded, intellectual, save-the-world, life-changing thing I was supposed to feed my brain with.
Of course that sounded stupid even in my own head, and yet, there it was: this gnawing anxiety that someone might find out about my guilty pleasure, and stand apart just a little, looking at me, askew.
When did this happen? When did I start caring so much about what other people thought? (Okay, always, and many of us are definitely burdened with this game). But more importantly, how do I climb off that ride?
When did this happen? When did I start caring so much about what other people thought? (Okay, -always-, and many of us are definitely burdened with this game). But more importantly, how do I climb off that ride?
I had to really make a point of listening to that little voice, the tiny one drowned out by my inner critic who was standing there on my shoulder with a megaphone next to my ear, shouting out all the reasons it wasn’t cool to be watching this show.
I asked myself: “Does it align with my vision of how things should be? Does it feed something within me that needs to be fed?”
Then quit worrying about what everyone else might think and watch the damned show. Get out of your own way. The little voice just got loud, and I realize I wanted to give it permission to be that way a whole lot more. It was the voice of common sense, and the one that instinctively knows how to be authentic, because that’s how you live a happier life.
Your inner critic can be a real ass sometimes, and it’s astonishing just how much power we give it over our lives. It robs us of the joy of experiences we intuitively know we need to feast on.
While I share the example of a t.v. show, this certainly applies to a whole swath of experiences and adventures we may be yearning to indulge in. The wisdom remains the same: quit worrying about what anyone else might think. Trust your gut, and just do it!
What kinds of guilty pleasures do you indulge in to feed your adventurous soul? C’mon over and put your elbows on the digital kitchen table and chat about it …