I was sitting this morning doing my written thought work, whilst waiting for it to get light enough to walk the dogs. I am introducing the girls, (aka my canine chaos) to a new routine which involves some waiting around! So far I must admit, it is working better for me than it is for them!
As I was writing, I noticed a lot of the words reminded me of Mum and Dad. It was like they were helping me along! They both had favourite words and frequently used phrases and then I started thinking about all the wonderful things that they both gave me.
This month I am focusing on clearing out the recesses of my mind.
Once left unattended the mind can get all choked up like an overgrown pond , where all the bullrushes are fighting for space and light. My month’s goal is to metaphorically get the diggers in, empty all the reeds, rushes, pond plants and Christ knows what else has self seeded in there and then carefully put back in the waterlilies and irises and other chosen plants. Create space and light and nurture the plants I want.
I am becoming increasingly aware that many of our thoughts and beliefs are not our own at all. We have inherited them. I can notice myself thinking things, that Mum’s Mum taught her and no doubt came from generations before her.
They are outdated.
They are Victorian for God’s sake. No doubt wearing long hooped dresses, with tight necks and corseted waists!
They are not my beliefs at all!
I am always doing this with love and not judgement- ok so maybe a wry smile at the ludicrous belief and weight my mind attaches to some of them!
I have spent much time thinking about other people’s beliefs but hadn’t until today, actually created a gratitude list for all the things my parents have given me. Some are inherited traits and some are their beliefs and their some their purpose.
Funny it just hadn’t occurred to me. Look for all the good stuff!
Together they created a safe and wonderful family home to grow up in. They helped educate me and always encouraged me to try new things, be active outside in the beautiful Devon countryside. TV was for an hour after school and 2 hours early on a Saturday morning. Remember Playschool and Jackanory? After the allotted TV time, we were turfed outside to “go and play”!! We explored Europe in their old camper van, called Mim, they taught me to ride a bicycle, a pony, how to swim… I was lucky!
So, I started this Gratitude list.
Dad, I want to thank you for…
Your love of academia and teaching.
Your unconditional love for me.
Your tremendous presence…when you started teaching at your last job, several of the girls apparently swooned over your film star good looks and presence. (at least one of them rubbed off on me!)
Your passion for Literature and writing.
Your love of Venice.
Your terrible impressions of Phil Mitchel from Eastenders!
Yours energy and love of renovating houses.
You were proud of me. Your only ever told me so once and it genuinely filled my heart to overflowing.
For being my dad.
These are the ones that spring to mind right now.
Mum, I want to thank you for
Being my best friend
Your total love and support for everything I did and tried to do.
Your passion for dogs.
Your love of art and her creative genius.
The time we spent scouring antiques fairs for those special pieces.
Your love of Venice
Your bloody stubbornness- she never gave up if she was on a mission.
Your love of cooking and fine food.
The way we travelled the world together – well some of it.
Your stoicism…however bumpy the plane ride was…”well if its our time to go, so be it”
Your ability to laugh with me so hard, that we would both be helpless with tears and almost unable to breathe.
For being my Mum
These lists are focused on all the delights that they gave me and maybe give you an insight into me?
When you think of your parents, whether they are here with you now or not, what are your thoughts?
Our thoughts create our reality.
I am consciously deciding to honour their memories in a way that serves me. In a way that feels good to me.
Yes of course shit happened. Neither was perfect.
What I truly understand through my journey of coaching others and being coached, is that I get to choose and keep any thoughts I want. Now this happens either by default or by design, so why would I choose to remember the crap and feel terrible, when I can relive a Gratitude list for all the wonderful things that they did give me? I can choose to feel good when I think of them and to forgive anything that needs to be forgiven.
Imagine clearing out your closet of parental memories.
Take them all out and just let go of the ones that aren’t serving you. Yes it takes work, but so do many great things in life. It doesn’t mean that you condone anything bad at all.
- It means that you let bad memories go.
- It means that you get to make yourself feel better.
- It means that you are ready to move on and maybe stop blaming others for where you are today? Boy, did I give both Mum and Dad some stick in the past, for why I was like I was.
- It means we take responsibility for our life.
- It means that we, as always, get to focus on what we choose to focus on.
- It means you have created space to build the life we want
That may sound dramatic, but look at any garden, watery or not and when its choked full of weeds, nothing can thrive. Everything is fighting for survival.
I invite you to play with this concept.
What are you choosing to focus on?
Is it making you feel good, or terrible?
Do these thoughts create gratitude for all you do have, or are they like repeatedly punching yourself on the face and wonder why it is hurting?
I invite you to get curious.
If you would like help sorting through some of your thoughts and creating space for your future, please leave a message below and we can arrange a time to chat.
Mind clearance in progress, Marianne.x
PS The photo is Dad and me in 1968 maybe? I am still not sure why dad was dressed as a gangster when we on holiday, but I can understand why his pupils all swooned!!