I had an “a ha” moment today when I realized why a well intentioned pep talk can sometimes rub me up the wrong way. Take this motivational piece I just saw on a facebook post today:
“The great myth is that you need money, time education, love, expensive therapy, a house a fill in the blank to get the happiness you want. I’m here to tell you you need nothing other than what is in your heart. …Personal growth, fulfillment, success and even happiness be it personal or professional are not for the lazy for the faint of heart for the victim for the ones who pass the buck. Change is for the warrior…”
Here’s someone telling you what’s true.. in summary, you don’t need anything except your heart.. don’t be a victim. But what happens if someone is going through a terrible experience and they truly do feel like a victim. I’ll use an extreme example to get my point across.
Say someone has just left their husband after years of domestic violence. Say they have moved to a homeless shelter and feeling mentally destroyed, broken and severely depressed. The above quote is probably not going to resonate or be helpful. It might be ultimately true in the long run but it’s not going to get the point across. How different does it sound when expressed in this way:
“What helped me when I was living in a homeless shelter was going into my heart. At my worst moment in life I realised I could always access my heart, and in my heart space I found a warrior. From that place I eventually found internal happiness”
See what I mean?
People get really preachy about a whole number of things but if it begins with “what helped me” it just has that extra zing, especially if the person is walking the talk.
So what helps me and am I walking the talk? Well, I went for a long walk today and I came across this cute Kookaburra. Walking in nature is one of the best things for mental health in my opinion… and exercise generally. It works wonders. Hang on.. I should rephrase that..
What helped me avoid going totally insane today after doing annoying job applications was a brisk walk along the plenty river. I befriended this cute kookaburra and felt happy observing his sense of stillness and clam. When I returned home I looked up the spiritual meaning behind seeing one. (some people believe when animals appear in your life it has a special meaning. You can read about totem animals here)
Meaning – If the Kookaburra has flown into your life it can help you to hunt down your truths, and these truths enable you to recognise your inner strength. In turn you are able to teach your truths to others, and also help others to find and recognise their own truths.
You may find yourself teaching others in an informal setting, by sharing your passions and beliefs with others. The Kookaburra encourages us to laugh as a form of healing. Laughter can be a positive force for the body, even when we force it and don’t really ‘feel’ it.(source)