Being a person who works closely with children and also supports them with their social skill set and self moderation techniques, I also feel that it is paramount for me to not be holding onto any unnecessary bullshit or engaging in things that are counterproductive to my ability to be able to socialise well, care for others and myself and self moderate like a boss. Basically, if you want to lead well you should be able to lead by example and you should be practising what you are preaching. And lets face it, when it comes to kids they can sniff out bullshit from a mile away, so if you're attempting to instruct them on ways to lead a more harmonious lifestyle and then behaving like an asshole yourself, well it's just not going to fly is it?
So it was with this in mind that I decided to take a big step back from myself, take stock of my life and my relationships and have a good think about what I should be letting go of in order to become more self aware, kind (to myself and others) and mindful about my behaviours and what I am sending out into the universe.
What became abundantly clear quite quickly as soon as I started to look at my role in my family, my close relationships, my job, my friendships and the way that I interact with others was my ridiculous need to be validated and how much of a people pleaser I am. And this lead me to realise that I genuinely needed a serious overhaul in the way that I was doing things and the way that I was spending my precious time and here's the list that I came up with of things that I need to let go of to become a more whole and rounded person.
1. Trying to make everyone happy.
It's ridiculous how compelled I am to taking care of everyone else's needs before my own. I go out of my way to make sure that everyone's needs are met, all the boxes are ticked and everyone feels heard and respected, and even though this is a lovely thing to do, It's actually not my job to make everyone happy. Everyone has a responsibility to create their own joy and find their own happiness, so attempting to do that for someone else is just hindering their ability to self manage. It's my job to make myself happy and that's going to be my focus from now on.
2. Saying yes to people or events that I'm not invested or interested in.
Saying no, choosing to not over schedule my calendar and having the courage to weed out some negative people from my circle of friends is a really hard thing for me to do. However, over the years my inability to say no has made me put up with some pretty shitty one sided friendships, spend my free time listening to people who don't care about me at all, allowed people to unload their baggage onto me and then disappear for months and has also made me negative and bitter at times. Well no more! If I am not feeling it then I am not doing it anymore, life is too short for mediocre friends and crappy events and gatherings.
3. Fear of failure.
All of my life I have hated the idea of being wrong or getting things wrong. In the past I have even engaged in pointless arguments just so that I didn't have to admit that I was wrong, how seriously stubborn and messed up is that? Talk about a closed mindset. Well that's over for me now, I am now more than willing to fail and learn and even fail again, it's all good. It's just like the Japanese proverb "Nana korobi, ya oki" which means 'Fall down seven times, stand up eight' which is a much gentler and kinder way to live your life than always trying to be clever, smart or right. I actually don't mind being wrong these days and I also don't mind not knowing things, I love to learn and that is my new focus now. Failing is human and its how we grow.
4. Not Trusting That Things Will Pass
I have said 'this too shall pass' a million times, but when things are happening to me, I often allow myself to get caught up in the drama of it all. Being able to accept that all states are transient and fleeting in the big scheme of things is something that I am really working hard on. It is just as much about trust as it is about letting go and it really comes down to one's ability to manage their emotional responses, be self aware and moderate as required. All things are impermanent and this does gets easier to accept as I get older, however being able to keep calm and stay the course when the waves get high is something that is still a work in progress for me.
5. Listening with My Whole Self
I have a tendency to get distracted and not always give 100% effective listening to people. I really hate it when people do it to me and yet, I sometimes find myself drifting off when people are talking to me. I want to stop doing that and I want to become an active listening zen master. I want people to feel like they are the only person when the room when they speak to me, I want to listen more and talk less and I want to completely engage when people are talking to me. This will require me to block out all other distractions and so this has to be my first port of call on the way to being an active listening zen master, so I am choosing to take this approach one conversation at a time. And if you are someone that has a relationship with me, feel free to prompt me back if you see me glaze over but also forgive me if I am so focused that it starts to get scary, at which point you can also prompt me to back off!
Okay, so there is, me being all transparent about all the crappy things that I do that I need to let go of and work on. It's never easy to admit our shortcomings but in the name of self improvement, I am always all about it; and admitting a personal flaw is definitely the first step to fixing one.
Release Date: 2002
Running Time: 107 mins
An American science fiction thriller written, produced and directed by M. Night Shyamalan that delivers just the right blend of suspense and foreboding that we have come to expect from all Shyamalan movies. If you are looking for a War of the Worlds apprehensive experience with a small town feel, then look no further, Signs has everything that you're after.
Graham Ness (Mel Gibson), a former Episcopalian priest is living on a large Pennsylvanian farming property with his two small children and brother (Joaquin Phoenix) when a mysterious crop circle appears on his land. Running low on faith after the tragic death of his wife, Ness is forced to face another tragedy with his family and this time it's quite possibly the end of the world.
This film is just as much about losing your faith in God as it is about a hostile alien invasion, and somehow, it works! The storyline is seriously strengthened by the presence of Gibson and Phoenix and even the child actors (Rory Culkin and Abigail Breslin) are bringing their A game and delivering believable levels of fear and trepidation.
If you like your sci-fi thrillers all tied up in neat bow at the end then you will find this film deeply satisfying.
FINAL SAY: Is it possible that there are no coincidences?
3 Chilli Peppers