“I once asked a Jesuit priest what was the best short prayer he knew. He said, “F**k it,” as in, “F**k it; it’s in God’s hands.”
– Anthony Hopkins
When I came back from London after my interview (that I mentioned in my post 29), I decided that July 2012 was going to be my “F**k It” month. I would literally apply this glorious phrase to every decision I made. Every day, I noted down what I said this magical obscenity to and would just see what happened in the process. To celebrate the first anniversary of my new attitude, I would like to share with you some of the things I said “f**k it” to this time last year and how it began to change the course of my life.
The F**k It Life was created by John C Parkin and his wife Gaia. They worked in advertising in London and had spent many years studying Eastern philosophy and meditation. Even though they liked their jobs, they had enough of their life in London and decided to leave it all behind them and move to Italy to start retreats. They claim that saying this phrase can be just as powerful as practising Buddhism and meditation, because when you say it, you immediately become detached and non-judgmental, which are some of the central tenets of Eastern philosophy.
I became instantly hooked when I read that little picture book last year. Since then I’ve devoured more of their books and passed them on to others (they are an excellent gift!). I found these two simple words so liberating because essentially the philosophy is based around the idea (or the truth) that things really don’t matter so much. So when I started realising that things really don’t matter so much, I became less attached to lost dreams or what people thought of me. I became more forgiving of trespasses against me and those of my own doing. I worried less about what I should be doing and focussed more on what I was actually doing. And the great thing about all of this? I was actually having fun! I said yes more, I tried out new things, I stopped doing the things I disliked and I swore a lot!
So here are some of the things that were getting me down that I decided to let go:
1. Not having a life plan.
2. Not having any savings.
3. Failing to become a practising lawyer before I even started.
4. Seeking approval from others.
5. Caring about people who were just not that into me.
And on the flip side, I:
1. Ate more chocolate.
2. Wore pink jeans.
3. Did an Art Nouveau cycling tour.
4. Wrote articles about my life in Brussels and my failed legal career.
5. Revelled in the boring bits of my job.
6. Joined a musical theatre company.
7. Tried different dishes and new restaurants.
8. Let people go who were hurting me.
9. Enjoyed the rain (it rained a lot last July).
By just even saying it, I immediately relaxed: the tension lifted; my breath deepened; my pulse steadied. There is something really magical about it because as soon as you say it, the worry does disappear; it may be temporary at first, but just remember that feeling of relief and keep going.
I did not do any wild stuff during this month but I noticed the changes. I became more accepting of my lot, and yet at the same time more willing to expand my comfort zone and re-configure my lot. I became more trusting of my ability and consequently I felt like I used less brain power but achieved better results. I also realised that I didn’t need to be anyone or do anything to be ok. Perhaps that is what freedom is.
So, why don’t you take up the challenge? Let July 2013 be your “F**k It” month and see what changes it brings about? As one caption in the picture book says, “Be open to something spectacular happening today.” But please keep it lawful; I take no responsibility for any f**k ups.