As a follow up to my last post about the 3 ways labels keep you stuck in life and the profound lesson my English Bulldog, Bubba, taught me about taking our labels off, I want to share some steps you can take to shed your own labels.
First, I want to remind you that labels are forced on us by other people, our environment, and our histories. Remember Bubba’s story? He doesn’t know what his labels are, so they don’t matter to him. He has no idea that he’s been labeled as a fat, lazy, tired, and slow dog. And guess what? Not knowing or caring what the labels are that society has given to him means Bubba can do something that we can’t. He can be who he really is.
That’s the lesson that Bubba taught me as I struggled to force him to break free of the labels he cares nothing about. When you can take your labels off and practice being naked in who you really are, that’s the place where life happens.
Bubba’s label is not what people think—that he’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer. He’s actually the sharpest for me, and that’s what he taught me. Humans push ourselves to the edge, and when we push ourselves to the edge, our bodies break down. Why? Because we’re not using our innate abilities to listen to the signs that our bodies are telling us.
This is something Bubba is very in tune with in his own body. When he wants to take a rest during our walks, he does. He doesn’t worry about the fat, tired, and lazy labels. He listens to his body. How often do you do the same?
Question Your Labels
While it would be nice if we could all think like Bubba and completely ignore the labels we’ve been given and that we give ourselves, I know it’s not easy. Instead, get unstuck from your labels by starting to ask yourself questions. The goal is to put those labels into question and train yourself to understand that’s all they are—labels. With practice, you can control how they affect you.
Think of it this way. When we sit down for dinner, most of us eat fast. What happens when you eat fast? The food you’re ingesting is actually not digesting because you’re keeping up with life and all of the to-dos rather than keeping up with what feels good in the present moment.
What if you actually decided to listen to what your body really wants and needs instead of using the distractions of other people’s expectations of you or the expectations that you put on yourself? What if you erased those expectations? What would be left?
Do you have the ability to practice a life where you actually take your labels off and begin to practice naked in who you really are? That’s the place where life happens!
Learn from Bubba
Think about the labels that you put on yourself that keep you stuck in life. What labels and expectations do others put on you that you feel you need to live up to?
Learn from Bubba just like I did. You don’t need to let those labels define you. To truly be happy, you need to get in tune with your body, listen to it, and live the life you want, not the life labels tell you that you should be living.