Learning From Sloths!
Last blog I mentioned I had been getting reminders regarding wise self-care from sloths! This may sound very strange but stay with me as I share my Sloth story. A couple of weeks ago I was doing some preparation for a class I teach fortnightly. I came across the timely ‘self-care, intuitive listening to your body’s needs’ material by Meggan Watterson. As you know I have been sharing this helpful practice in recent blogs.
Meggan was referencing Sloth as one of the so called ‘seven deadly sins in Christianity’. She said the ‘seven deadly sins’ can be more helpfully thought of as the ‘Seven Powers of the Ego’. She refers to them as the 'seven ingredients of what goes into being human, which reads like a food label for the ego'. Meggan’s more helpful spin on these 7 are ...........
Discernment is key, awareness of these habits allows us to practice tuning into the ultimate power of our wise soul, our 'best friend self' to ask my favourite simple question - what does my body and mind need in this moment?
Also, in Buddhism there are what are called meditation obstacles, or things that can be hindrances to our ability to meditate! These include slothfulness! The others are desire, ill-will, restlessness and remorse and sceptical doubt.
So Sloths abound! However, I think that maybe they have been somewhat misrepresented and misunderstood. Ironically, I had many reminders of this coming up. I thought the references to Sloths was very interesting and wanted to learn more about them.
Amazingly the next day I was on my way to the Post Office to post ‘covid care’ packages to my kids. A couple of years ago my friend Wendy had given a lovely little wise book by Sarah Ford entitled ‘Be a Llama and Stay a Little Calmer’. It had lots of funny illustrations and wise advice for me. There were other books in the series including, 'Be a Unicorn and live life on the bright side". I had been enjoying getting these from our local bookshop and sending them to others, including my kids.
I was one book short, so on my way to the Post Office and I rang Jeffery's Booksvto get a copy of the Llama book. Beth informed me they were out of stock and only had one Sarah Ford book entitled ‘Be a Sloth and when in doubt just chill Out’! No kidding I was so amazed, I had no idea that there was a Sloth book in the series. Clearly, I needed to read it.
Then another crazy thing happened. While waiting in the Post Office cue staring at me was an A4 notebook with a picture of a sloth with the title ‘Sloth Lover’s Club'. How funny! Again, clearly, I must have something to learn from Sloths! I purchased the notebook and have been enjoying using it ever since! I have learnt so much from Sarah Ford’s series of books. In particular I think the Sloth book and the ‘Be a Llama and Stay a little Calmer’ book were both written for me. The final Sloth reminder in this saga came in the form of "Sloth Yoga Calendar I was gifted from my friend Lorraine.
So some things I have learnt and am doing my best to practice from Sarah Ford's little "Be a Sloth and when in doubt, just chill out' book and my other sloth sources are to ........
The final Sloth reminder in this saga came in the form of an hilarious and wise 'Sloth Yoga Calendar' I was gifted from my friend Lorraine.
So some things I have learnt and am doing my best to practice from Sarah Ford's little "Be a Sloth and when in doubt, just chill out' boo'k and my other sloth sources are to ........
To Slow down, calm down, don't worry and don't hurry
1. Best foot forward....Slow, Sure and Fearless.
2. Listen to others then make up your own mind
3. Things will aways seem better in the morning after a sleep
4. Don't let anything go to waste - Reduce, Recycle, Repair.
5. Be kind to the environment and equally, be kind to yourself and others too.
5. Take life at your own pace - Live life in the slow lane
The Covid Mottos I have been saying to myself include.........
'No Rushing' (thanks for the reminder Neil)
'You have plenty of time'
'One thing at a time' (thanks Kate P). I am doing my best to remember not to attempt to fit in lots of events into one day. When I forget to do this I find myself rushing around and not able to be fully present for any of them!
6. No more busyness or striving
Instead be plentiful with activity that is joyful and kind. (thanks for the reminder Monique) And remember to take a well eared REST AND RELAX to maintain your joyful activity!
In the words of Sarah Ford 'Sloth believes in enjoying the now and embracing whatever the future brings (after a little nap)
7. Be true to yourself!
As my favourite quote from Sarah Ford says 'Sloth is always true to himself. He doesn't do exercise (because that is not what his body needs) but he does look after himself - he eats well, sleeps well and is tune with his mind and his body(tunes in an listens to his wise best friend self for what he needs in any moment) in all its hairy entirety.
Work with kindness and curiosity around helpful self-care habits using ……..
My favourite ABC practice to tune into the body’s or mind's needs in any moment
If you can do something about a situation - do it and don't worry
And if you can't do anything about it - don't do anything and don't worry!
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