A few of posts back I shared a link with a site where people post their top 5 rules for life. In the intervening weeks I've given this some thought off and on, as I work through another set of small personal but important projects.
So to break all tradition there is some overt structure to this email - won't be making a habit of this, its my blog to say arbitrarily what I feel like saying when I feel like saying it, how I feel like saying it at the time ;-)
1) What are my top 5 rules ?
2) Are they really rules ?( I dont like rules!) they shape my life.. they do get broken, I feel the nuances at times and appreciate them differently as I get older. I doubt the essence has changed much in the last few decades, but the words I use as I currently understand them do change.
3)These things that arent really rules, what happens when I forget them?... well it ranges from mild unhappiness to serious illness.
It turns out that question number 3 proved to be the test for membership of the top 5. Or to put it another way, when I remember these 5 things, I am a nicer person to know, even for me!
So here they are:
1) Trust your instincts to be true to yourself
Ultimately the only person who influences you, is yourself. It is your voice in your head, even if you have inherited some of the ideas from others and sometimes suffer the emotional contagion of other people's feelings. If you are having a reaction to something it is important to pay attention. Your instinct doesn't tell you what is wrong, it tells you that something is not right. Your observation and investigation might tell you what and why. Your instincts tell you to check it out. This is biology's calibration system, sometimes it is an alarm, sometimes its a big loud "go on" signal. Be respectful of Mother Nature and pay attention
2) Forgiveness is liberating for others of course AND for yourself. A good memory does not make forgiveness even harder, just less accidental and more conscious. What greater compliment than to forgive and be forgiven?
1 and 2 are entwined somehow, inextricable but still distinct. I learned 1 from my Mother and 2 from my Father. Lifelong gifts. Thank you both
3) Remember you are an animal get in touch with your inner animals.. Cats have nine lives cos they are curious, they also sleep a lot! Dogs approach the world with a nose for fun. Toddlers are lovely animals and instinctively seek. It is the best way to learn, aware of the world but not made self consciousness by it.. They just do it and enjoy. Some might call this playing.
I dont know who gave me this one Playing is Joy in action.
4) There will always be a way for you to contribute and be you, find it and do so.
This came from my Granny who saw everything and loved anyway.
5) Spend time under a big sky every day, AND night. Star light and the moon provide a different illumination on life, the universe and everything. It is a place to breathe.
Breathing is good :-)
Note: I used the word YOU all over this. I am talking to myself