Today I went for my regular daily walk. Behind my house, I climbed a little hill and crouched beneath some branches of birch trees and was soon in a lovely forest. After days of grey skies, the sun was shining and I enjoyed seeing spots of sunlight illuminating the ground.
I also saw other things on the ground: a half-dozen disposable facemasks scattered on or near the path. I looked at them and then decided to stop and pick them up. Deeper into the forest, I spotted chocolate bar wrappers, plastic forks, a soda can and plastic packaging. I picked it all up and continued walking.
I then noticed my heart rate increasing as I made myself annoyed with other people’s littering.
Up ahead: more facemasks. And plastic gloves, hamburger wrappers, plastic bottles, a woollen glove, some cardboard and two used condoms. I picked up all of it. (Fortunately, I was wearing gloves.)
Soon I realized I had a choice. I could either resume strolling as I had originally planned—or I could continue picking up the rubbish people had tossed into nature. I decided to pick up the trash.
As I reached down here and there for the garbage, I realized I had another choice. I could feel righteous and make myself angry at the unknown litterbugs—or I could feel good about myself. I chose for the latter. I chose for happiness. And I made myself even happier by thinking that. I liked thinking that I was beautifying my local forest and that I was getting good exercise from bending and reaching for the litter. I enjoyed then scanning the forest floor and not seeing any more trash. I was proud of myself for doing what I’d done.
So, why am I telling you all this?
I want to convey: we often have a choice. Sometimes we might not immediately like this, like me in the forest. Yet, when I did what I did from a place of choice and freedom, I judge my experience was different—and light and enjoyable.
This leads me to talking about our events!
My passion is to support you to notice how many decisions you do make every day and to fully own your choices. And I want to support you to notice how many things you can decide every moment and that you are allowed to change your mind and make new decisions, too.
You have a choice of what you do and what you don’t want to do. And you can choose to view a challenge as either an annoyance or an opportunity to notice what is happening in you and how you create suffering for yourself.
And you can choose to relax into being in the here and now. Accepting whatever is.
Many situations don’t go as we want and we can choose to accept and embrace whatever is and whatever comes or we can spend our time and energy wishing and hoping things were different.
(As not deciding and drifting along in life is also a choice!)
This leads me to talk about other choices…
I imagine, these days, like many others, you are spending more time than you’d like in front of a screen. Pete and I have noticed that with our longer online events aren’t filling as much as they did earlier in the lockdown. We are happy, though, that many people are still filling our shorter events, webinars and courses.
I was really happy to see such a vibrant group of people at our recent Honest Date Night (which we organized with Anna Haas) and at last week’s Honesty Festival online.
I am happy to be able to continue making a living during this pandemic and, more so, to be able to support others to begin or continue their honesty practice during a period where we can’t legally meet in person.
I have had this vision to bring people together and offer a space where you can show yourself, be seen with the good and the shameful stuff, have fun and meet other like-minded honesty fans!
I am pleased to tell you that more is going. Our next Honest Date Night will be on Saturday 24 April
And I’m excited that to co-lead another online Honesty Festival, Sunday 25 April! At this event, you can choose which sessions you want to join! I judge this is an easy-going and fun event including dancing, meditation, the Questions game, asking for what you want, as well as many opportunities for sharing.
In order for many people to be able to join, we also made the price very reasonable: people with little money can join for €40 while the regular price is €50.
So today I wrote about choices and previously I wrote about codependent parents (read it here if you missed that newsletter).
What do you think – do we have choices in life?
What’s next? What would you like to hear about?
Tuulia (& Pete)
PS: Did you already answer our survey? We want to hear your opinions about how you like your newsletters, Facebook postings, videos and what you want more of. We want to know any thoughts you have about our workshops or webinars and any wishes you might have for us.
You can participate in the survey here: Honesty Europe Community Survey