Sing To Your Inner Critic!

Photo credit: Jeremy Mcknight

So many of us are on this soulless, heartless, mind-train that we never even belonged on in the first place. So many of us have been rushing against the flow for so long that we don’t really have any idea what our heart’s desires truly are anymore. So many of us have forgotten how to rest and play in reflection.

And that reflection is so nourishing for us. Especially when we’re in the process of unearthing new talents or desires or possibilities for the new future. But as soon as we dip our toes into the deeper state of reflection, in steps our inner critic with all the reasons why we can’t possibly do or be or have what we want.

We all battle with that inner critic, and for me personally, the critical voice is something that I struggled with the most.

As an antidote to all this, I know a lot of people choose to work with mantras (repeating positive affirmations about themselves), but my brain just isn’t wired to respond to those kinds of affirmations. Because the magic of it all isn’t actually in the words, it happens in the feeling of it.

And so, one day, I played a little game with myself, and every time one of those negative thoughts came up, I decided to sing one of my favourite childhood songs. The song is so super cheesy that I’m not even going to tell you what it is, but no matter how cheesy, childhood songs are powerful. They carry some kind of deep, mysterious solace in them. And every time I heard a negative thought or felt something in my mind that wanted to punish me, I just launched into my song … and then it was gone. All that negativity. Just gone.

Because again, the magic lies in the feeling of it.

My most vivid memory triggered by this song is of me as a little girl lazing in a warm, sunlit van while all the grownups were partying on the beach. I was left to do as I pleased, and so I popped in my tape and just lay there in the soft sunlight, listening to my favourite song over and over and over, without any interruption from any grownup whatsoever. To this day I still know all the words to the song, and to this day it takes me back to that blissful, solitary afternoon.

The emotion transmutes the energy. It shifts the energy of negative thoughts into something else far more uplifting. I like to call these ‘song’ moments joy jars, and the more we can collect our own experiences of joy in our lives, the more we can access those joy jars again and again and again.

Because as we grow up, as we change from these beautiful little children, we somehow become so disconnected from our hearts and just start living in our brains, and these little favourite childhood songs magically bring us back to that space. The time before we started getting so hung up on the inner critic.

So sing to your inner critic! Sing your favourite childhood song! Be super cheesy if you have to! And then go play and rest in your reflections and live out the new life you were born to lead.

Read next: When You Don’t Know

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Natasha van Zyl AKA Jellybean
Natasha van Zyl AKA Jellybean is a behavioural change therapist who happens to be classified as autistic, AdHd, dyslexic and bipolar. But determined to share the love that overflows from her heart for other people, she has worked with families with special needs children, and learned about the grace of love, acceptance and the bonds that grow between people when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable. She offers guidance and healing for matters of the heart, relationships, and emotional turmoil.
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