There was a man walking along the beach when he saw another man fishing on a pier. He noticed that the man was catching a lot of fish. Really big fish and really little fish too.
Also he noticed that the man was doing something that he considered to be quite strange. The man was throwing back all of the big fish and keeping only the little fish.
He had to know why this man was throwing back all of the big fish. So he walked up to the man on the pier and said ‘Hi there, looks like you’re catching a lot of fish there. Do you mind if I ask you why you’re throwing the big ones back? Seems like they’d make a mighty fine meal’.
The man turned to him and said, ‘I agree. However back at my house, I only have one frypan, and you see… it’s really very small. So I have to make the choice to throw the big ones back and only keep what I can comfortably fit in the pan’.
I have begun to notice that I am continually meeting and speaking with women who have taken home so many fish that they’re completely exhausted and worn out trying to fit them all in their ‘pans’.
We tend to have this habit of creating ‘To-Do’ lists for miles. Of saying ‘YES’ to everything (and then resenting it later).
I know how utterly tiring and frustrating and anxiety-inducing this habit can be because I have been there, and at one stage in 2015 I had to pull out of 3 speaking events and a national speaking tour with a large company because I was pretty much done, spent, cooked, burned out.
There are now unlimited things to draw our attention. We are now being sold to so much by media, advertising, Hollywood, and our own internal struggle to ‘keep up with the Jones’s’, that we have begun to believe that if we live an extra-ordinary life – a simple, fuss-free life – that this isn’t a great life.
So while we are all trying to drag those big fish home, our physical health and relationships and emotional wellbeing and friendships are suffering. Disease is rising. Depression is rising. And while we are surviving longer, many of us are not really living.
How totally flipped arse-about we have become.
However, we can have it all.
If we reassess our version of all. Remove external attention–love–seeking things and the desire for ‘things’ things and begin to find the absolute grace in the extra-ordinary life. Which, upon removing the hyphen, becomes ‘the extraordinary life’.
I have been watching a show on Netflix with the kids called ‘Wild China’. It is an incredible view on whole communities of humans living today who are completely removed from any of our Western World’s modernisations and the desperate seeking for climbing out, out, out, up, up, up into unconscious, unhappy, ‘Truman Show’ oblivion.
I highly recommend watching it.
Of course, we do live where we live, and we do have all-of-the-modern-everything-at-our-fingertips, so I am not saying that you need to renounce every pleasure nor desire to seek what you want. What I hope to inspire through this message to simply take stock of what you have put in your pan and perhaps ponder whether you can really eat it all without feeling sick.
Have a beautiful and extraordinary life.