You do it. I do it. I bet even the Dalai Lama, if his bare sole (or even his bare soul, for that matter) was to unexpectedly come into contact with a particularly pointy bit of Lego as he made his way to his meditation, would mutter one or two.
It’s a word or phrase that connects us directly into that moment and into an emotion. Good or bad we’re there; just for a split second whether consumed by immense pleasure, wracked with pain, or a combination of the two.
I used to have a work colleague who would roll of five of the best in very quick succession, with a gorgeous Black Country accent. Sometimes the company you’re in may require you to make a quick modification and “oh f….iddlesticks” is the best you can do. Maybe you take to a whole new language, but the effect is still the same.
And the best news? The next time someone raises and eyebrow or two at your potty-mouthed moment you can stand tall, tell them to b*gger off because it’s actually a spiritual practice. No. Really. It b....loomin' well is.
Here’s the thing; regardless of how you do it, any expression of “oh f*** it” (or whatever your equivalent is) takes you into a unique space. Despite what’s going on you feel good and calm, and generally lighter about life. You take stuff a bit less seriously. You let go a bit, and things seem to go much better.
This isn’t my idea. It’s the blinkin’ brilliant magical modern mantra of a man called John C.Parkin. His whole ‘F*** It’ approach to life has taken the world by storm (with over 500,000 books sold in 22 languages). John says “it’s the perfect Western expression of the Eastern spiritual ideas of letting go, giving up, and finding real freedom by realising that things just don’t matter.”
“It’s a spiritual way that doesn’t require chanting, meditating, wearing sandals or eating pulses. And it’s the very power of this profanity that makes it perfect for shaking us Westerners out of the stress and anxiety that dominate our meaning-full lives,” said John.
Despite the fact that I do like a bit of om-ing every now and again, have been known to do a spot of mindfulness, am particularly fond of my Star Wars flip-flops, and make a mean 3 pulse-packed chilli…I took his point and loved where he was coming from.
So how can you bring some of this sweary wisdom onto your yoga mat? Could bringing a sense of “Aaaah f*** it!” to your practice help you find something new? Or at least make the whole thing a little lighter? I think you can…
Say f*** it to feeling stuck…
From this sweary perspective, feeling stuck can often come from a space where your imagination just hasn’t got enough elbow room to come up with any possible solutions. So why not bring some freedom into your practice? Turn on your favourite tunes, get on your mat and just see what happens. No one is saying you have to create a class that’s worthy of Shiva Rea but when your body starts to move with freedom, the energy will follow, and you may just have yourself a catalyst for everything else to start flowing too.
Say f*** it to feeling weak…
There are times when you just feel like you’ve had the stuffing knocked out of you. Life gives you a good old shake up and shake out. It’s time to recognise that strength comes in all different forms; and sometimes it’s time to say f*** it. Weakness is a relative term so can you reframe it when you’re next on your mat? When your legs are shaking in warrior can you say to yourself “oooh look how hard my legs are working? That’s f***ing great!”
Say f*** it to being scared…
Fear can be a useful feeling. If we didn’t have it no one would understand why climbing up tall stuff was a remarkable thing to do, and we’d never be out of our local A&E. But in this case it’s not saying f*** it to the fear, because sometimes the fear needs to be felt. Through your practice can you challenge yourself with the poses that are fearful for you – whether that’s an arm balance or a heart opener – and beginning to believe that you are safe, no matter how you feel.
Say f*** it to the voices in your head…
It could be when the willowy Amazonian beauty unrolls her mat next to yours in class and The Voice begins a running commentary of why she’s better AND bendier than you. Perhaps The Voice pops up next time you’re in a meeting. Maybe it comes out to dinner with your friend. Whenever it starts to speak, engage your new f*** it approach, and welcome it into a conversation. Maybe it just wants to be heard and acknowledged with a ‘ok – that’s interesting’ approach.
If nothing else, saying f*** it is going to bring some fun into your life. Because that’s what F**k It brings – fun. It encourages you to start looking at how you can let go of the control we’re so often desperately hanging on to.
Say f*** it and give up, let go, and stop resisting. This is freedom. Finally doing what you really want to. Letting go of all the ‘woulds’, and ‘shoulds’, and getting connected to that still small voice within; the one that will help you realise that within us all is the same energy but you can only let it flow and shine when you just let go.
Just like we do when we’re on the yoga mat – when we surrender to the breath, let go of trying to force ourselves into a pose, release any expectations – that’s when the practice flows. That’s when we find our flow. That’s when we ARE the flow.
And it feels f***ing great.