23rd July 2015
I went to a self-development course over the weekend with Kate and Henare O’Brien for 2 days. There were about 50 people from all walks of life, looking for inspiration, help or just being curious like me. I have read my share of so called “self-help” books and follow a good lot of people who make their living in this field, but its always nice to rethink, refresh, reconnect and be inspired by other peoples work.
The thing that touched me most at this workshop is how all sorts of different people opened up and shared their stories, their hurt, their successes, the skeletons in the cupboard. There were tears, there was laughter. It made me realise again how quickly we judge people from the outside, trying to squish them in allotted boxes and we really have no idea whats going on on the inside. It made me realise that deep inside we are all looking for connection, direction, pupose. love…. We all have the whole rainbow of emotions, successes, failures, mistakes and learning going on.
Unfortunately one of the things that came up several times was the very high suicide rate in New Zealand and Australia. Kate and Henare both grew up in Flaxmere, a lower socio economic area in Hawke’s Bay, and there have been 5 suicides in the last few weeks alone.
I have had my ups and downs in life, but I really can’t imagine how desperate one must be to choose this option. There are so many people out there who simply can’t cope with life, with our society, with all the pressures, responsibilities and negativity. I myself have my moments when I look at this world and think what the heck is going on here – how could anybody be happy with all this s#hit happening all around us.
In actual fact I have stopped watching the news and reading the paper, reading thrillers or watching movies and TV programmes with violence / bad vibes years ago. I just can’t cope this this constant stream of negativity and stupidity, violence, rape, natural disasters etc. I now choose to focus on all the nice things that surround me, my children, my husband, our lovely house and garden, the yummy food we have access to, the beautiful nature that surrounds us, inspiring books, learning new things, spending time with lovely people who inspire me, doing yoga – in short my own little universe. I try not to waste my time doing/watching/reading things that make me feel bad or sad. I want this to be a beautiful, happy world, because I want my children to have a beautiful, happy future.
What transpired for me in those 2 days is how important it is to love, respect and forgive – no not others – yourself first of all. I would think that this is the single most biggest mistake I have made in my live. I have not taken enough time for myself, I haven’t given enough love and respect to myself and I haven’t forgiven myself for all the mistakes I have made and I haven’t invested enough time in myself to find out what I really want to do and be. I was always too busy in the outside world, trying to please others and to fit in. In the last few years however I have started to learn how important this is and made lots of changes, one step at the time.
In my early adult life I had my share of unpleasant relationships with men. In the first ones I messed up, caused hurt, was stupid in search of something better. Then karma kicked in and I got it all back. From where I am now I can see that I was desperately searching for somebody to love me, but I didn’t even like myself, how could anybody else love me, respect me if I didn’t have those feelings for myself. In actual fact the very last lovely man that I “interacted” with in Germany told me that he didn’t like how I put myself down all the time and that I didn’t have any self-esteem. On top of this I spend most of my adult life doing things I didn’t thoroughly enjoy from my heart, that I was passionate about. I grew so unhappy, that just packed my household into boxes, quit my job, left my apartment in Berlin and set off with my backpack to have a breather, to re-evaluate who I was, what I wanted, where to from here.
I suppose this is a really important lesson to learn for all of us. If we really all loved and respected ourselves and forgave ourselves – this world would be a much better place. We could be better role models for our children, we could go out into our communities with confidence and find and create connection, we could have truly touching, open and honest friendships. We could change the world by giving more love, respect and forgiveness to self and others. However from my own experience I know this is not easy, because most of us are to busy in a mindless state of affairs and its hard to poke the head out and have a good look around.
While I was pondering all this in my lunch break at Kairunga Gardens among the trees I found this leaf in front of my feet. How appropriate 🙂
So here we go: Love more, forgive more, open up, let all the old baggage out – look at it, evaluate it and let it go, learn the lesson and move on, focus on the nice things in life, smile more, do silly things, dance, laugh, watch children and imitate them.
My children have been the best teachers I have met so far. They push all the buttons I never knew I had, they inspire me, they push me to learn new things, they drag me along to try new and old stuff, they beam when I am silly and happy,they give the best kisses and hugs, they hold the mirror up to me, they laugh a LOT, they are unapologetically honest, they don’t judge, they love and forgive freely – themselves and others and they speak the truth (mostly ;-)). This is how we are all born – innocent and lovely. We are taught and we learn how to be the screwed up people that we end up to be by the surroundings we grow up in. Lets all unscrew a few things and get back to the good basics.
Love from here x