* Javier Bardem whom I refer to as sex on legs. http://www.nigelparryphoto.com/portfolios/actors-2
Spinning yarns is as natural to us as eating when we are hungry.
Knowing the difference between what is true
and what is something we just keep telling ourselves
is often where we come unstuck.
Children seem to know the difference
between stories and what’s real
but as we become adults
the boundaries can often blur. And know that your story becomes part of who you are and whether self-employed or employed, it’s part of your brand.
Hopefully somewhere along the way
we realise that many of our beliefs are stories
we have repeatedly been telling ourselves.
The sad truth though is they are often
the base up on which we build our lives.
Some of these stories really work for us:
I have a better day when I do my morning yoga practice.
Actions speak louder than words.
Life is calmer when I am organised.
I express my truth with love and respect, and allow others to do the same.
I’m a calmer and better person, mother, partner, worker when I get enough sleep.
I have a great family and friends who support and love me.
Others not so good:
5 cigarettes a day can’t harm me. I smoked 20 a day for years:-)
There’s some truth in this but
none at all would be better:-)
Good stuff never happens to me.
I always screw up.
People are unreliable.
Siblings never like each other so it’s ok that I never talk to my brother.
It’s crazy to get up at 4:00am to do your sadhana
(It may not be easy but crazy?)
Byron Katie does really work work dispelling these myths
She asks a series of 4 questions
one of which is ‘Can you absolutely know that it’s true?”
Is it an irrefutable fact.
This one question can often break down
the system of beliefs we have built for ourselves and trapped others in.
We then have to face the often painful fact that
what we have been doing,
and how we have been living is based on a fabrication,
an inherited belief or a lie.
I recall a moment years ago at John of God in Brazil
where I was sitting with a group of women.
Guaranteed you spend enough time with women;
men, body image, food, clothes and sex will be discussed
sooner or later.
We also discuss work, politics, environmental and social issues
but not this day.
Men were on the agenda.
And women complaining about men.
In the past I had willingly participated in these conversations.
I am sure men have their own version of these.
I could hazard a guess at what they might say
but not today:-)
Back to Brazil
Some of these women were married, some single,
some in relationship no man’s land.
The script ran something like this
Men don’t want to commit to anything.
They want to play the field.
They want it all their own way.
They don’t want to take responsibility.
They want women to work and do all the housework too.
They cheat on you.
Men are selfish.
Men are unreliable.
These last two were the ones
that finally switched something on in me.
I recalled this from somewhere deep in my psyche
and in this moment, I recognised it
as something my darling Mother would say.
My next thought was
‘This is not my belief and in fact, I don’t believe any of this other stuff.’
This has not been my experience at all,
so why do I say this stuff or go along with this crap.
In these situations it’s often easier to go along
with the sentiment of the conversation,
to agree, to chime in with your version
or to collude with silence. My mother would say Misery loves company. My heart was saying you’re perpuating a myth.
It’s always harder to swim against the tide.
It’s also kinda frightenly natural for me to do this
if I don’t agree with something
but I’ve had my stories with men
and so it would have been easy to go with the current on this one.
But in true Eilish style I added my two cents with care an a little nervousness
‘None of this has been my experience.
I’ve certainly had some difficult relationships with men
and they’ve all ended
but truly none of the men in my life have ever been unreliable
or selfish, or cheated on me.’And not one to stop when I start I continued,
‘The three men I grew up with were stable,
loving and always there for their family.
Fabulously flawed as humans are,
but my father, my grandfather, and my brother
all loved unconditionally
and were none of these things.
Far from perfect but they were all good men.
And even in the relationships I have had
they were all good men.
They didn’t work out for various reasons
but I realise it was as much to do with me as them.’
What followed was silence.
I suddenly felt I was no longer welcome,
no longer part of the club.
As though someone was screaming
there’s a dissenter among us:-)
If it was in Franco’s Spain or in Stasi land
I might have been reported to the thought police:-)
I also felt liberated as though I had shed a layer of skin.
I later retold this conversation to my mother
and asked if she really believed these things too.
She started to give me some reasons
why she would say this,
but after a short discussion.
She agreed although
she said many of these things
there was no evidence to support these beliefs.
I felt she might have been able to shed a layer of skin too.
My standard response now when the
‘There’s no good men’ conversation happens is
‘I only need one good one.’
So the only real question is
Do you really believe what you believe?
or is it something that has been fed to you, by yourself or others for so long
you just accept it as true?
Think of one thing that challenges you in your personal,
professional, fiscal, physical, spiritual, emotional life.
Choose only one thing for now?
(You can do repeat this exercise as often as you like)
Ask yourself if you really, really believe this?
Then ask what could I believe instead of this?
Would this make any difference to my life
or could it make all the difference?
Breathe again and smile.
and smile again.
Have a beautiful day.
I’m now off to see what that brilliant utter nutter Dali did in Figueres,
well apart of it anyway. *And as we’re on a Spanish theme a bit of local eye candy seemed just right:-)