Allowing the complete ‘Pot of Life’
Being somebody who loves the outdoors, I find the short days and long, drawn-out evenings of winter hard. This year, as I faced the annual dread of the cold dark months of January and February, I decided to do what I could to ‘do this year differently.’
My solution is what I call my 75:25 approach to life. This involves me allowing myself the freedom to acknowledge that 25% of my life is filled with things, people, events etc that I wish were different – I call this my ‘pot of negativity.’ I don’t deny this 25% or try to bury it under the carpet and ignore it – I simply stare each aspect of my pot in the face and accept that it is there. At the same time, I let myself acknowledge the feelings that each aspect within this pot induces in me – fear, sadness, loneliness, worry etc.
All of that done, I then turn my focus to my ‘pot of positivity’ – the 75% of my life that is amazing, and I allow myself the same indulgence. I reflect on the big things in life like the fact that, despite a global pandemic, I am alive and well and I pause to enjoy the smaller things like the sound of the birdsong in the morning, the feel of a woolly sweater around my neck or the chill of the wind on my face as I step out of the door.
At Making Me, our workshops in schools teach children how to properly focus on, and respond to, the complete ‘pot of life’. The reason we do this is because we feel that it is important that children focus not just on the 75% ‘pot of positivity’ but that they are aware of, and prepared for, the 25% ‘pot of negativity’ too. In this way they are equipped, up front, to know how to deal with whatever life puts in their ‘pot of life.’ There is no doubt that there is a time, a place, and a way of exposing our children to some of life’s more difficult truths – weighing them down with the worries of Atlas isn’t the answer either. But by resourcing them up front to know how to face life’s difficulties and build their sense of resilience, we are giving them the resources they need to live life mentally and emotionally well.