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Monday, December 31, 2012

Carrying Negative Baggage? Let it Go

"As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live."  Johann Wofgang von Goethe

Uncovering the Naked Truth

Lately I've been thinking about the story of two monks who happen upon a naked woman standing by a river. The woman wants to cross the river and asks the Monks if one would carry her to the other side. One Monk agrees while the other steps back in horror, but says nothing.

When they get to the other side, the Holy Man carrying the woman puts her down at the bank of the river and the two Monks walk on, traveling the next 10 miles in silence.

The Monk who maintains his purity by refusing to touch the woman ponders the incorrectness of the other's action. As he walks down the road, he simply cannot get the image of the naked woman out of his head. He sees the image of his Brother carrying the naked woman playing over and over again in his head.

Finally at the end of the day the uncontaminated Monk can stand it no longer. He breaks his silence and says, 'how is it you soiled your body and mind by touching that naked woman?'

To which the other Monk replies, 'I left her at the bank of the river while you, on the other hand, have carried her with you all day.'

Which Monk Are You?

We all have the capacity to carry both Monks within us. There is the side of us who jumps into life with simple, straightforward non-judgmental action, and the other side who is filled with 'shoulds', 'don'ts', rules and judgments--who continues to ruminate and second-guess our actions and experiences long after they're over.

Which Monk do you relate to most? Do you spend more time carrying negative thoughts and experiences with you? Or do you strive to walk through your perceived negativity so you can let it go, and move on with your life?

'Naked Lady' Experiences Leave You Feeling Vulnerable

Let me share one of my 'naked lady' stories with you. Early in my career in Los Angeles, when I was a trusting and fresh-faced professional I had a charismatic colleague--who I admired very much--methodically turn other co-workers against me. This was a very public experience that left me feeling exposed and vulnerable, and influenced my outlook for years.

Initially when I revisited Los Angeles after moving away, my mind would be drawn to revisit that uncomfortable experience, and I had to deal with the feeling everyone was judging me each time we came in contact.

Yet years down the road as I was conversing with a colleague who was a major player in THE EVENT I discovered she had no memory of it at all. My naked lady experience I carried within me as a HUGE memory she put down immediately after things transpired.

Furthermore, when I checked in with other people who were involved in my BIG EVENT, their recollection of the experience was minuscule or non-existent. There was no group memory of what transpired--only what I carried with me in my mind. I could have put down my naked lady experience instead of carrying it with me all those years.

What 'Naked Lady Experience' are you carrying with you today?

  • What events, experiences or embarrassments are your 'naked lady' experiences causing you to feel exposed and vulnerable?
  • Have you been publicly embarrassed, laid off, divorced, or 'made a fool' by a love interest?
  • Are you embarrassed because you've lost your home, failed to get a job, or while you may have a job you're being underpaid for your skills and talents?
  • What do you need to name, examine and let go?
Most people are too busy with their own lives to maintain an inventory of the negative events and experiences of yours. Don't let your 'naked lady' experiences get a toe-hold in your mind. Let them go and move on with your life.

"The basis of your life is absolute freedom, the goal is joy, and the result of that perfect combination is motion forward, or growth. Your goal is to find objects of attention that let your cork rise."  Abraham

Credit to Sun Gazing Facebook Page

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For more than 25 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes changing easier than ever before. Contact Susan to schedule life change coaching, weekend retreats, or engaging Lightarted experiences to share with friends.

1 comment:

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Sue, thank you! I need to read this about once a month - I'm cursed with a great memory for stuff that's best forgotten and a poor memory for facts I'd like to be able to retrieve instantly.