‘The spiritual art of not giving a shit.’ Did you hear that? Outrageous!
Being gloriously yourself and not giving two hoots what other people think.
I just love that term. Don’t you? I wish I had made it up, but I didn’t.
I borrowed it from Havi Brooks and have been gleefully bandying it around ever since I read it on her blog, The Fluent Self, about a year ago. It sounds far more deliciously irreverent than much of the other dry psychology jargon floating around. You’ll probably hear me saying it a lot from now on It sorta rolls across the tongue and tastes delightful.
Anyhoo, on with the story.
I posted an image on a secret Facebook group page recently, and started getting curious about how many of us really do think it’s important to spend time actively pursuing our dreams. So we all got to chatting, as you do late at night on secret Facebook groups, about the inherent ups and downs of dream chasing…
Then the BIG question hit, the one that I hear over and over again :
“What do you do when you’re getting all carried away by the thrills and joys of chasing your dreams/goals/objectives: YOU’VE FINALLY FOUND YOUR THING (whatever that may be), and you’re working your wee behind off to get there, only unfortunately, at least one other significant person in your life is NOT happy about the changes happening?”
‘What’s right about trying to reach our goals if the people around us don’t share our enthusiasm? Or worse! What if they are being downright unsupportive, negative and maybe even sabotaging our efforts to get a life we love?” Gulp.
Has that happened to you? You’ve just inched your way out of your cocoon and are ready to tentatively spread your colourful, but still very new, butterfly wings, while everyone else is still enjoying the chrysalis stage and wants to keep you as resolutely stuck to the leaf as they are.
So what to do?
Well, before you rush out and do something reckless like dump all of your friends, or (GULP!) drop your dream, it might be useful to take a step back, breathe, and simply give yourself permission to be who you are first.
Being truly and wholly who you are is the art of being sovereign.
It’s recognising your right, and allowing yourself that right, to be gorgeously, undeniably and unapologetically YOU. You with all your foibles, and you in all your brilliance.
You are the queen of your life. It’s about believing you have the right to own that life of yours and wear your crown with dignity, grace and courage. It’s your birthright. When you accept it, every one else will. And if they don’t, it probably won’t matter to you much anyway.
Wearing your crown means giving yourself permission to feel exactly what you feel at any given moment, whatever that may be: JOY, frustration, love… sadness….
Small children do it all the time. Not that I’m saying you should go out and act like a 3 year old (although I bet we’ve all seen a few ‘grown ups’ do that). Filters definitely come in handy in an adult world. What we’re talking about is more a deep recognition that whatever emotions you feel, are real, are very valid, and belong to you.
It’s knowing that you are only responsible for your own feelings, attitudes and actions but not for everyone else’s. It’s acknowledging that what others feel is equally as real, but inherently belongs to them. It’s their stuff. Totally legitimate. But not yours.
A great queen can feel deep empathy and compassion for another, without making their feelings hers. It’s about knowing where your edges are; where ‘you’ stop and ‘other’ begins.
It’s knowing your fundamental values.
It’s being clear, unapologetic and loving about what you stand for.
It’s about defining your limits and learning to say a firm but gracious (think Audrey Hepburn) NO to things that don’t support you, your values, or your personal goals in life. Thinking that you have to say ‘yes’ to everything in order to be liked, loved, accepted, ‘kind’ or ‘nice’ is a purely fear based notion that keeps you stagnant, smack bang in the centre of everyone else’s comfort zones.
Knowing when to say NO actually keeps your energy levels up and helps you be more generous with your giving.
Luckily, as queen you can also say a big, hearty YES to things that do support you.
It’s knowing that truly looking after yourself (including pursuing your dreams) isn’t selfish at all, because that’s how you can be fully present to and inspire others to do the same. Contrary to what we’re taught, compassion and care starts with self.
Having said that, looking after yourself does not mean that others are intrinsically less important. Au contraire, the more deeply you respect and allow your own freedom to be, the more natural it is to acknowledge and respect the needs of others, even if you personally can’t fulfill them at any given time.
You see, everyone gets to be queen or king of their own world.
A Monarch butterfly leaves its cocoon to test its wings when it has finished its metamorphosis. It doesn’t hang around in the chrysalis trying to make itself into something else, concentrate hard on remaining a caterpillar, or wonder whether it should ‘be nice’ and wait for the others. It instinctively knows its purpose in life, where it has to go, and what it has to do.
Every. single. one. of us, without exception, has our chance to become a metaphorical butterfly, each in our own way, and in our own time.
It’s what we are born to do!
So grab your crown and start getting a feel for those exhilarating wings…
P.S. Announcement time! With spring comes generosity, joy and abundance Early-bird discount registration has started for the Opening Doors workshop in September. Come along and learn some more about the ‘spiritual art of not giving a sh*t’ and get a good positive zing while you’re there.
You can find out all about it by clicking here. Not being a techy, I haven’t got an automatic secret code happening yet but I’m giving 100 €uros off the price of the workshop package, until May 3rd 2013. Click here and type in “YES PLEASE! I’d like to sign up and get the early bird discount in the message section.” There are only 10 spaces available.
Hope to see you in September.