If you are an animal, what
would you be and why? Have
you ever been asked this question in your lifetime? This is a
question that is asked during job
interviews, pageants, team building exercises and self-awareness
sessions. In my younger years, I
would probably be the panther
or an eagle. I would probably
have chosen an animal that projects power, agility and winning.
But as the years had gone by,
people changed and so have I.
I wear a turtle pendant almost every day. As a practicing
psychologist, I get to meet and
treat people with anxiety, depression, anger management
issues and other behavioral disturbances. This century, most
especially the last year and this
one is a combination of enlightenment, reason, progress and
anxiety. This 2021 has been indeed a period of heightened uncertainty. Circumstances such as
the continued period of the pandemic has brought about havoc
to the lives of many. Now, I wear
my turtle pendant more than
ever as it a constant reminder
of respecting one’s own pace
in life. The turtle is constant reminder that it is okay to go slow
while we savor every moment.
That in time, we can reach our
destination. In life, when things
seem too much, it is okay to stop,
breathe and take a rest. We can
learn lessons from a turtle. Own
pace, own time. May we be inspired by the understated confidence of the turtle, seemingly
unmindful of the pace of others.
There are thought patterns
ingrained in the brain. These
are life scripts deeply embedded
into the psyche. “No retreat, no
surrender. Winners never quit.
It is all about winning.” These
thought patterns may dictate
our actions and life strategies.
Being told as a child these life
scripts are likely to affect you as
an adult. These are likely to develop the neurotic need for validation from others, unhealthy
and unrealistic expectations set
upon self. Our past is very important to who we are. But we
can no longer change the past.
We can however, starting today,
make deliberate changes to our
thoughts and actions.
What if you are scared and
tired? Rest. There is nothing
wrong with being true to what
you are feeling. When you have
rested, you can strategize what
to do next. Some people view life
as a continued race with other
people, all the way to the finish
line of success. But what for you
is the picture of success? Different measures for different people. Do you need to win all the
time? Do you really see a world
where in which every game, everybody wins? What’s so wrong
about losing? The reality of life is
that there is winning and there
is losing. The only thing that we
are in control of is our effort. Focus on the effort, not just the outcome. Do the best that you can,
that is all that you can do in your
quest to win a prize.
What do you want? When
you get what you want, what
do you really get? What have
you been doing to get what you
want? Are you so stressed with
all these life aspirations and
ambitions? Some things in life
are worth having. But are they
worth being? Will it truly give
you joy? When aiming for what
you want, have you been so focused with all your goals to win
that you have lost track of things
that matter more than worldly possessions and admiration
from the public? Have you been
dancing as fast as you can?
Life is like a dance. Movements in tune with the rhythm,
filled with grace and purpose.
Taking delight in the movement
itself. May I ask you to take a
pause and answer this question,
“Is there a spark of delight in the
movements in life that you have
been making?” Pause. Reflect.
Dance again. This time, listening
to the rhythm of life, as graceful
as you can be, dance through life
with a purpose.