By Dave Wine
You may have seen an REI ad that talked about the voices we hear throughout our lives – you know, the “shoulds and oughts”: You should be careful. You should be nice. You should be happy. You should smile more. You should just play nice. You should set a good example. You should be in better shape. You should take care of it. You should take care of them. You should do something more with your life. You should be grateful. You should not worry. You should lose weight. You should know your place. You should play by the rules. You should be less sensitive. You should be more sensitive. You should be more nurturing. You should set a good example. You should fit in. You should put forth more effort. You should not be alone. You should settle down. You should grow up. And on and on it goes. Those voices in our heads that tell us we are not OK the way we are! The ad then ends with “These are the voices we have heard our whole lives. But they get harder to hear the farther we go outside.”
I’d like to change that to also read, “they get harder to hear the further we go inside.” Meaning, it is when we practice mindfulness, going inside ourselves, observing those voices in our head, quieting our minds, that we can begin to remember that these don’t have to be our voices – we get to choose which voices we hear and which have meaning for us. Most of the voices that give us our ‘shoulds’ and ‘oughts’ are not necessarily true for us. Most of them come from a long line of others telling us how we should be and most are also fear-based – if we don’t do this, then this will happen. When we practice mindfulness, we can begin to sort through all those voices, keeping the ones that nurture us and letting the others go. It is in living what is true for us (listening within) that there is harmony and when there is harmony there is wholeness. And that leads us right back to MAX – creating and sustaining wholeness – not just in others but in ourselves as well.
David is the President and CEO of the MAX enterprise, having served in that capacity since its formation in 2001. He has forty plus years of leadership experience in the business and faith-based worlds, being an ordained minister, having been elected to the highest position in his denomination, and receiving numerous awards and recognition for his leadership in the insurance industry. He currently serves on numerous boards in the church and insurance sectors. His hobbies include hiking, biking, skiing and snowshoeing as well as being an avid reader. David and his wife, Sharon, have three daughters, a son, and five grandchildren.