Can I Get My Own Permission?

featured photo from feelling's tumblr

Saying No

At the end of the day, you come home and you’ve fought your battle.

You were on the front line, tackling all those to-do’s, fulfilling obligations, and you’re worn out.

Feeling tired, the word “self-care” comes up in your head and you are reminded oh yeah, I need to meet my own needs.

And suddenly you feel a sense of guilt, thinking about some meeting or event you were going to attend. Your instinct tells you to say no.


But, what if they say…? What if there are dire consequences if I don’t go? What if I’m missing out on something important and I regret for the rest of my life?!

Somehow you get through the mind-shit and say no, or perhaps you make an excuse. “I don’t think I can do it.”

And then the other person doesn’t take no for an answer. And you have to go, you have to do this.


What do you do?

You barrage yourself with — Why did I…? It doesn’t work out magically like I’d think. Who do I think I am? Stupid! I can’t take care of me. I have to be the last. I don’t deserve. I’m not worthy.

All the criticism. All the self-hating talk.

All just because you need time for yourself.


The thing is, all you really need is just permission.

Not permission from someone else – like that person who said no to you. Forget that person.

But YOU. You need permission from yourself.


Yes, you can give yourself permission to be selfish.

Yes, you can give yourself permission to feel disappointed about stuff that you think you should suck it up.

Yes, you can give yourself permission to feel sad that it’s so hard to protect yourself.

Yes, you can permit yourself to feel the pain of all of it.


At the end of the day, all you need is permission.

Permission to make mistakes. To stumble. To be broken. To be lacking.


Who is the permission-granter?

I feel like we’re all just elementary school kids. We’re just physically bigger…but have the mindset of a 6 year old.

Really. Remember the days when we had to raise our hands and politely ask, “May I go to the bathroom, please?” No, not “Can I go to the bathroom” but “May I.” (I remember I got this from this annoying teacher who was very literal).

See the difference between “may” and “can.” We say “may I…?” because we’re asking permission; we’re not asking if we’re able (“can I…?”) because obviously, we are able to.

Let that sink in. It means that we have the ability. But we’re stopping ourselves because we’re trying to get permission.


When we were little, we had to ask permission to do ANYTHING. To pee, to run, to eat, to play, to learn.

It was as if we did not have the autonomy to do these things on our own. It was as if this thing called a will of our own did not exist in this universe.

Someone else – an adult – told us what to do and who to be. We were kind of like marionette dolls. Doing what we’re told. Having the voice only when given a permission from “authority.”


So saying “no”to something and making time for yourself means that you have found the voice within you that have been buried deep for many years (more like, your whole life).

It means that you recognize that you CAN do anything you want. You don’t need permission from someone else.

I could only imagine what the world would be like if everyone recognize this ability within oneself. Everyone will be empowered.


No more asking for permission.


You already had one from the moment you were born. Look inside.

– Y Jung


Trying to Find Out What the Heck is Meditation

My journey in meditation

I always thought myself as a sensitive person.

I was the emotional type who was easily hurt.

My emotions sometimes engulfed me and I didn’t know where it all came from. It just seemed like it was coming from nowhere. Emotions controlled me.

I was studying Psychology during undergrad years (to helps others, but also to help myself!) and stumbled upon CBT, which led me to ACT, and then to Mindfulness-based practices.

While CBT sometimes felt very difficult to master, ACT and other mindfulness-based practice felt more compassionate and kinder in their approach; it was easier for me to stick to and actually apply it.

That’s how I got into mindfulness meditation. That was the first time I’ve really learned what meditation was.


Before then, I had this idea that only monks and secluded spiritual people did meditation. It was definitely not something that regular people did on a regular basis.

But when I learned about meditation and tried it out for myself (using guided meditation) it felt very natural and nurturing. It was an only time when I could stop doing and start being.

I could reflect, decompress, and seek refuge from the chaos of the outside world.




The thing is, it was great at first.

But my perfectionistic tendencies were coming out while I was meditating. Even in meditation, I would measure myself against the “standard” or rule of what it is like to be in a perfect mindful, “meditative” state.

If I didn’t feel calm or focused, I would feel bad about how I wasn’t doing well in meditation.

I noticed so many thoughts were popping up in my mind, bothering me and I couldn’t let them go! I thought it meant that I wasn’t doing it right.

I’m sure, monks don’t have thoughts while meditating, right? And I thought If I wasn’t doing it like a monk, then I would “fail.”

I couldn’t get my life straightened out, and now I couldn’t even get meditation..urgh.

These thoughts made it harder and harder to meditate. Why is meditating so hard? – I thought, while it was *me* who was making it hard.


More allowing


No. The thing is I came to realize meditation is not about achieving a certain state.

It is a practice and a ritual.

It’s not like you reach this level and you’re done. You don’t go from A to B and then you’re finished.

Like brushing teeth, you do it because you want to be healthy and you want the rest of the day to be more fresh and clean.


With meditation, you’re not trying to affect how you feel during meditation.

You’re trying to pave the road for the rest of the day when you’re *not* meditating. What I mean by paving the road, is that meditation can make the rest of your day more mindful and peaceful.

You’re more centered and more focused.

So It doesn’t matter particularly how you felt during meditation.

But the fact that you sat down and took time to simply notice your thoughts and sensations is what matters.

Think about it: how many times do you actually consciously face your thoughts? Most times, thoughts just come and you become controlled by them or you just run away from them.

Meditation (mindfulness type) helps you be honestly close to yourself and allow you to be you (finally…after trying to make yourself become someone else!).


Realizing this, meditation became so much more easier and natural for me. There is no “achieving” or reaching a certain state.

It is just a simple practice where I notice and repeatedly come back to my breath. It’s not really that complicated.

Sometimes I notice my mind if crazier than other times, but that is just how it is. I note it and move on.

At some point, you learn that thoughts are really fickle, temporary, and random. Seriously.

They have nothing to do with who you are. They come and go, like clouds.

Welcome them when they come and let them go when they leave.


Y Jung


Trying to find out what the heck is meditation

Featured image by Rocio Montoya