Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Curse of the Monkey's Paw.

Do you know how they catch a monkey in India?  They drill a small hole into a coconut, place some rice inside, tie the coconut securely to the base of a tree and wait for the monkey to arrive.  The monkey, being curious and always on the lookout for food, puts his paw inside the coconut and grabs a handful of rice.  Whilst the hole is big enough to put a paw in, it’s too small to allow a clenched fist out. The monkey holds on to the rice - even as the catcher approaches.  By refusing to let go of something he can't even use, the monkey loses his freedom.

The same thing happens in relationships.  I call it the Curse of the Money's Paw.  You hold on to something, refusing to see that its of no longer of use and your refusal to let go means you're trapped.   

How do you know you're holding on?  If you feel
  • frustrated you can't make yourself understood. 
  • a need to please everyone to keep the peace.  
  • you find fault easily - either with yourself or others.
  • you fantasize how things could be and complain about how things are.
  • you want things to be perfect and lose it when your expectations aren't met.
  • confused when things change, unable to understand what's happening.
  • stressed, driven by too many goals.
  • unable to focus on one thing for long.
  • unenthusiastic about events, believing it'll only end in disappointment.
  • unwilling to acknowledge you have a problem.
The key is to first understand what it is you are holding on to and why.  Maybe you're holding on to an old relationship, or a time when life seemed rosy.  Perhaps you're holding on to a fantasy life - an idea that you should be living a 'happy ever after' story. 

Holding on to a belief that you don't deserve to be happy will bring life to a grinding halt.  Holding on to feelings of hurt and loss will keep you trapped in the past and stifle your chance of a brighter future. 

Learning to let go is a skill and first requires a re-focus, a shifting of emphasis from being caught in the past to setting a goal for how you want the future to be

Letting go sets you free and allows for creative possibilities.

What are you still holding on to?  How does it keep you stuck?  Our coaching, courses and workshops will help you escape the past and celebrate freedom.

Decision is a risk rooted in the courage of being free.  Paul Tillich


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