I was reading my beloved Ele Journal this week (where I have another article posted in case you missed it) and I was taken by an article “Self Help is Bad For Us”. Intrigued, I read author and Ele Journal founder Waylon Lewis’s candid take on filling our head with another upbeat, Hallmark card worthy slogan about today is your day; wish upon a star and you will be happy forever; keep positive and everything will turn out peachey kinda stuff. (sorry, clearly I am not a slogan writer)…..But they are becoming t-i-r-e-s-o-m-e. Spend even 5 minutes on any social media outlet and you will bombard with slick slogans and quotes from everyone from HH the Dalai Lama to Dr Seuss. All can be inspiring of course, and I do personally find the words of His Holiness profound and beautiful. But I have to share the opinions of Waylon, I am over the quotes, the slogans the sayings as they are all generally simply another distraction. They take us out rather than in.
These quotes sell hope – when we could be working on acceptance. We don’t need to “fix” ourselves, be on the constant look out for solutions to our problems, to search for the amazing antidote to being all bright and shiny and successful and rich and sexy (or whatever it is you are chasing). Simply learning to be with what ever is arising, of not wanting to things to be better, brighter or bigger. That is perhaps more useful.
Someone asked me recently to write about how I stay at my best, what are my tips for keeping full and abundant and loving life. There are many things I have figured out along the way that are necessary for me to remember, but the most important is simply accepting things as they are. I don’t need to run a hot bath, have a massage, light my favourite incense/tealight/insert favourite thing to light, or go for a walk in nature. (Although if you are feeling shit sometimes that can help) Ultimately it is actually about doing nothing, but simply being with what ever arises. Nothing fancy or complicated (and certainly cheaper than having a massage). And I have days where things are not awesome and amazing, and that is called life. To wish for something different is what we call ignorance.
Looking for quotes or sayings or slogans to lift your mood and brighten your day just keep us going out. When all we need to do is go in. Sit with whatever it is that is making us look outwards. No need to fix it or stuff it down or analyse it or go to therapy.
Acceptance is the best help you can give your self.
Unfortunately we want something more, we want the bells and whistles model, we want bright lights and angels coming down from heaven – when we have everything we need right here and now. The Buddha taught that it is in our selves that suffering arises, and it is in ourselves that we can be free from our suffering. Still we think we know better and go in search of the allusive solution.
Heard any gag worthy positivity slogans lately? Drop them below. I love the cartoon on Waylon’s article, it is my fav at the moment (not for it’s gag-worthiness mind you.)