Mindful with Irene (24)

Irene wants an inflatable doll. Ummm, okay…

Somewhere inside of me is a huge bitch. And now I’m hoping that all my friends aren’t sitting there saying “Yup,” because I believe that bitch only actually reveals herself to me. You see, there are times when I hear all sorts of comments made by this bitch. A bitch who thinks that everything can be better. Who gets angry when I do something wrong. Who says, “You see, you can’t do it” if something fails just a teeny bit. Who always knows better and never eases up on me. During the course I did on mindfulness and self-compassion, I noticed just how very real and present this critical voice is. I learned how to identify the voice, how to take it on board, how to put points of view across, and how to turn it into a compassionate companion (yeah, yeah, all a bit vague I know…).

But now I’ve decided to tackle her differently. Now, I’m going to be just as sweet to myself as Tom—or TomTom as he’s known to you. Whenever I’m in my car, it always hits me just how much of a gentle giant Tom actually is. And how nice. And how respectful, too. He has such a lovely voice (which, admittedly, I have set myself). If I miss a turn or drive in the wrong direction, Tom doesn’t say, “Hey, bitch, watch where you’re going.” No, Tom says, “Please turn around where possible.” And even if I keep going in the same direction because I stubbornly believe I can turn left a bit further down the road, he either repeats the sentence or just goes quite and recalculates the route for me, which I absolutely love him for. Without raising his voice or getting annoyed. No problem at all. And when I arrive, he never moans that I’m late; he just happily informs me that I’ve reached my destination. How great would it be if Tom was available as an inflatable doll, keeping me company in the car, at home, at work, and, well, in daily life. Perhaps I should send the idea to TomTom… But until then, I’m going to try and connect the bitch in me to Tom, and hope that he will manage to silence her. It may be through a stern talking-to or, even better, thanks to a kiss he gives her when she’s about to open her mouth and let rip with another critical remark.

Irene, together with Astrid, is the founder and creative director of Flow Magazine. She lives with her children (10 and 13, co-parenting) in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Each Friday, she writes about how various Mindfulness lessons apply in her daily life.