Three Ways to Quiet Your Inner Critical Voice for Good

“You are so stupid and careless”.

I heard the voice shouting at me as I reached for the wrong spice, taking the paprika from the spice shelf instead of the black pepper.

I turned around in shock and recoiled in horror, looking around me to find my attacker but there was no one there. I was all alone. It took only a split second to recognize that the harsh voice came from within.

I clenched my chest, as I gasped in horror, sitting down to catch my breath for a few moments before quickly got up and continued cooking dinner, ensuring that the perfect meal was on the table before my husband came home.

I would  attack myself relentlessly for most of my adult and childhood. Though I had grown up in home where perfectionism reigned supreme and married a husband who made many demands on me, no one was as critical and harsh with myself as I was.

Being harsh and critical with myself, almost seemed to be the way I protected myself from the demands of those around me. If I could be more critical with myself than them, I would be one step ahead, ensuring that their criticisms would hurt less.

For many years, I would never let myself off the hook. If I made a genuine mistake, I would rehash it over in my mind and provide myself with endless reasons of how I could have known better if only I would have tried hard enough.

If I couldn’t manage to finish all my chores when taking care of my ten children, I would blame myself for not working hard enough. Perhaps I should be waking up earlier. Maybe I should not have sat down in the afternoon to rest.

I was my own worst enemy.

Even after years of therapy and healing  and logically understanding that this harsh judgement that I had of myself was not helpful, I could not let fully go of this behaviour. I would sometimes even wake up in the middle of the night and hear that critical voice shouting at me again.

“What is wrong with you?”

Do you have a harsh critical voice that haunts you?

Do you never give yourself a break?

Are you demanding and harsh with yourself?

Are you your own worst enemy?

What do your harsh and critical voices say? Do any of these sound familiar?

  • Why did you gain so much weight, can’t you control yourself?
  • Why aren’t you earning more money, can’t you get a better job?
  • Don’t be so lazy, just get off your butt and do what you said you would?

After years of battling these voices, I finally decided to make peace. I decided to stop fighting this voice. To stop judging myself when I would hear that harsh tone and began to implement daily practices which have helped to release that inner critic.

Try these practices and see how the critical voice will slowly soften and lessen until it no longer has an impact on your life.

Daily Practices:

  • Twenty minute meditation every morning. This meditation helps to quiet the mind and fill it with feelings of love and comfort that last throughout the day.
  • Writing or saying at least ten positive affirmations every morning. When you remind yourself of your positive qualities every morning, you set yourself up to be in a positive place, making it harder for the critical voice to show up.
  • Embrace what comes up. If the critical voices do show up, don’t try to fight them. Instead, hold yourself gently as they arise. Listen to voices as if it were coming from outside of you and hold yourself with compassion and gentleness until they pass.

Would you like support as you learn to release your inner critical voice and start to live a fulfilled and happy life? Do you want to learn how to release all those critical voices. Click here to schedule a 15 minutes call https://calendly.com/beatriceweber and subscribe to my blog at beatriceweber.com

I am super excited to announce that I  will be speaking at the Awaken Fair in Tarrytown NY on Sunday April 28th at 3:30 pm. Purchase your tickets at http://www.awakenfair.net/guest-tickets.html

My Quiet Inner Voice

As a child growing up in an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish home, my life was predictable.

I knew which food I was allowed to eat and which clothing I was permitted to wear.

From the time I was three, my skirts needed to cover my knees and my sleeves had to cover my elbows. When I was nine years old, my stockings had to cover my knees so nary a sliver of skin would show.

I knew that that the Shabbat Queen would arrive every Friday night promptly at sunset.

It meant that there would be a hustle and bustle of preparation for hours, but that once the sun would set and the Shabbat candles lit, peace would reign in my childhood home, at least for a few hours.

I knew that my parents knew best and that they would find a marriage partner for me.

When I was 17 years old they started the search for the appropriate man and by the time I was 18, I was married to a Torah Scholar living in Israel, the beginning of new life growing in my belly.

The predictability was always there and knowing what to expect provided me with a sense of safety and security. I never had to wonder, to dream or to worry. I knew just what would happen, when it would happen, how it would happen and even why it would happen.

But throughout my childhood, I had moments where there was another feeling growing inside of me. I had fleeting moments when something inside of me felt differently. When that little voice said that there may be a different way of doing things.

My little six year old voice questioned what my life would be if I had been born in a different family, in a different religion. Would I still be told that I was so special and that it why there were so many rules? What would that feel like?

When I was eight I secretly bought a yellow popsicle that my mother did not allow us to buy because it was not kosher enough for us, as our family only ate the orange flavored ones. I remember those few fleeting moments of joy before I was caught and punished. The freedom of following my desires felt so sweet, even sweeter than the yellow juice dribbling down my chin.

I considered going to college when I was 17. Imagining myself educated and getting a “real job” felt so freeing and rebellious, both at the same time. That idea was quickly nixed when my parents found an eligible young man for me and supporting him in his studies became the all important goal for me.

As I became older that inner knowing voice, that intuition deep inside of me could no longer be shut down. It begged to be listened to. No longer could I sit back and rely on the fact that my parents choose my marriage partner, so it must be best or that being a stay at home mom was the best choice for me or my children.

And I began to make different choices. I finally enrolled in college. I got a job outside the home and I let that little voice grow and grow. Despite the misgivings of my family and community, I finally left my marriage several years later, deeply knowing that I was doing the right thing for me and my children.

Now that I have more freedom and the ability to make my own choices, I am learning to listen to my intuition more and more every day. Sometimes my old habits of squelching my inner voice rear their ugly head and I allow myself to guided by others thoughts and beliefs but more often than not, I am now beginning to act from a place of true knowing, becoming more and more in tune with who I really am. I am listening to my inner voice, my intuition and my knowingness that resides in me.

Are you living your life following your inner voice? Do you want to learn how to connect with your intuition. Click here to schedule a 15 minutes call https://calendly.com/beatriceweber and subscribe to my blog at beatriceweber.com

My Grandmothers

For the last several days my social media feeds and email inbox has been full of inspiring memes and articles about inspirational women in tribute to International Women’s Day, which in case you don’t know, was on Friday March 8th 2019.

In truth, my feeds are always filled with inspiration and motivation about strong women. I have purposely curated my feeds and online exposure to include only news, and information that inspires me to reach to greater heights, professionally, socially, emotionally and spiritually. This is the first year however, that I noticed all the hype on International Women’s Day and it inspired me to look at  my grandmothers and the role that they have played in me becoming the woman that I am today.

My grandmothers were both holocaust survivors. They arrive to foreign lands, the United States and England from Europe after losing  almost their entire families, their former lives torn asunder. As a young child, I took for granted the fact that they got married, had children and set up homes anew. Now as a grandparent myself, I look upon them with amazement. Despite all they had suffered and experienced, they still found the stamina to start over, to hope for a better future and to trust that life will be good to them again.

Not only did they get married and have children, but they were both enterprising women and used their resourcefulness to bring regular income into the home. My grandmother, Oma, from London began baking fancy cakes in the 1970s that were highly sought after by her community. I visited my grandparents in London when I was 10 and I vividly remember excitedly running around at a party pointing out all the cakes that my grandmother had baked.

My other Grandmother, Babi, worked alongside my grandfather in his printing shop, greeting the customers and making the sales. She was the pleasant face of the store, providing the softness and warmth to my Grandfathers gruffness and exactness. At her recent funeral, people commented that they would come to the store especially to be greeted by her smiling face and warm words.

When I got married at 18, I knew that I would follow in their footsteps and have a large family. Though I was two generations removed from the Holocaust, the aftershocks of the Holocaust were still felt in the Ultra-orthodox community that I come from, and having large families was  expected. It was a way of both taking revenge and ensuring the continuation of the Jewish nation.

I did not however expect to work nor to be an independent woman supporting my family. I had gone to Ultra-orthodox schools and took the studies very seriously. I had been taught that the ideal was for me to marry a Torah Scholar, have a large family and support him and the children. Being that my father had become wealthy over the years, I easily found a Torah Scholar to marry, since my father promised to support us for many years to come.

This worked well for over a decade. I had children quickly and easily and I stayed home and cared for them while my husband the Torah Scholar spent his days and evenings in studies. By the time I was 33, I had nine children and unexpectedly began to feel a deep emptiness and sadness. I was doing all I had been taught to do, supporting my husband and caring for my children but it was not enough.

I could no longer ignore the burning need inside of me to expand my knowledge and contribute to the family finances. I eventually enrolled in a college program designed for women from the Ultra-Orthodox community and found a part time job at a non-profit organization shortly thereafter.

As I began to become more independent, things began to shift in the relationship with my husband. No longer was I willing to tolerate being put down or made fun of. No longer would I run to do his bidding the moment he demanded it. I began to recognize that I am a person of worth and deserve to have a voice of my own. That my role at home was more than being a helper to my husband and children and I also deserved respect. We eventually divorced as I continued my journey of financial, emotional and spiritual independence.

As I experience the pain of my family, community and some of my children not understanding my journey, I look back at my grandmothers and the strength that they had to overcome and build their lives anew and I know that they are behind me, supporting me and holding my hands as I embark on my own journey of building my life anew.

Who has inspired you to step into your power and find your independence?

Comment below and let’s start a conversation.

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Lightness

They said it’s fun! It’s exciting! It’s a party! It’s the holiday of lights!  

But she sees darkness everywhere. She is too young to speak, too young to be heard but she knows. A holiday of lights that sees dark arguments, cynicism, put downs and perfectionism is not light.  

Despite her young age, she is smart and knows that she needs to join along in this charade or she will be the next target. She sits pretty and smiles, uncomfortable in the dress that has been chosen for her and pretends that all she sees is light.  

But she knows, how dark it really is and that all the bright lights are a cover for the deep darkness in their souls, a darkness that even a million lights can not lessen. A darkness that has taken over their lives and does not allow their Spirit to soar.

Though she pretends to be like them, her Spirit refuses to be silent and as young as she is, she knows that the time will come when it will be safe for her Spirit to soar.

She has been warned that she must sit with them now and smile, and she does so with grace. Her Spirit, however,  finds a hiding place, a dark closet under the stairwell, bereft of any bright lights but full of inner light, of love and acceptance. Her Spirit stays hidden and safe, patiently waiting for the time when it will be safe for Her to soar and bring light into her life.  

***************************

Her Spirit is patient and waits decades.  

Years later she is preparing for the holiday of lights in her own home,  and is speaking to her young child, who is wearing an uncomfortable suit which has been chosen for him.

It’s fun! It’s exciting! It’s a party! It’s the holiday of lights, she tells him.

And then she takes one moment away from the mad preparations, looks in her child’s eyes and sees fear and bewilderment. She knows he overheard the yelling and crying that went on to the wee hours of the night. He knows the fear that is in this home.

Her child knows the darkness in the festively decorated room and is doing what she did so well many years back as a young child and smiling because he know that he needs to pretend that it is light. She sits beside her child and holds his hand and feels the Spirit that still resides inside him.

As her hand grasps his tightly, memories come back to her, memories of a time when she was too young to talk and be heard, yet knew the difference between true light and dark.  Memories of the time she promised her Spirit that one day, when it would be safe, she would soar and bring light into her life.

She holds his hand and begins to walk away.  Her walk quickly turns to a run and then she is flying as she leaves the place where the darkness is so strong that a million lights can not diminish it and finds a home for herself, her Spirit and her child. A home of love and acceptance where Spirits are free to soar.  

My Grandchildren

 

woman carrying baby at beach during sunset

I dedicate this blog to my four beautiful growing daughters. I wrote this piece several months ago upon hearing about the birth of my fifth grandchild.

I hope that it inspires you and gives you strength as you deal with inevitable challenges and pain that life brings.

 

Today I experience a flood of emotions.

It is one of the happiest days of my life.
It is one of the saddest days of my life.

I am filled with joy.
I am filled with anger.

I am filled with gratitude.
I am filled with indignation at the unfairness of it all.

My heart simply hurts from the overwhelming flood of emotions.

My daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. I am now a grandmother to five beautiful grandsons.

What joyful and exciting news!

I received the news of the birth, as well as updates during her pregnancy from her younger siblings as she has excluded me from her joyful occasion. The pain of being excluded from one of the happiest moments in her life is excruciating.

I fully respect her decision in this despite everything inside of me knowing the wrongness of it all.

The overwhelming love that I have for her, my beautiful oldest daughter only continues to grow over the years, despite our distance. I think of her every day and send ongoing love to her and her children.

I treat myself lovingly during this time. I hold myself with love. Encourage myself to experience the entire mix of emotions with gentleness and compassion.

As I picture the image of my daughter holding her baby and experiencing floods of love to her newborn child, so too am I flooded with tremendous love for her.

And just as I love her fiercely and only wish her goodness, so do I know that God loves me and only wish me well.

And that is my consolation and strength at this challenging time. The absolute knowing that I am in God’s embrace and He loves me so much.

It is through this Knowing that I can stand strong as I wait for the moment, when truth will be revealed and I will once again embrace my beautiful daughter and her newborn baby.