I’ll just leave these here. Jungian analyst James Hollis posted these on Facebook recently. Pretty much everything one needs for sound mental health in a nutshell. Seemingly so simple but not. One could spend days/weeks pondering any one of them. #7 is a good place to start. #16 is necessary for any parent of older children. #19 is what has been on my mind a lot lately.
1. THE CHOICE IS YOURS:
Realize that your life is something you choose every day, whether you are paying attention or not. And that it is now time to pay attention.
2. TIME TO GROW UP:
Grow Up. Growing up means that we truly take responsibility for our lives, for how they are turning out, and stop expecting others to make those decisions for us.
3. LET GO OF THE OLD:
Pay attention to how much of your daily behavior is in service to old anxiety management systems that, once necessary, now bind you to a disempowering past.
4. RECOVER PERSONAL AUTHORITY:
Recover personal authority: what is true for you, really, and now find the courage to live that truth.
5. SEEK TO MAKE AMENDS:
Ask others where you have injured them, where they see you limiting yourself, and vow to change those behaviors.
6. STEP OUT FROM UNDER THE PARENTAL SHADE:
Consider where you are still carrying, or compensating for, the unlived life of your Mother, the unlived life of your Father.
7. VOW TO GET UNSTUCK:
Reflect on where you are stuck, and what old fear is keeping you stuck.
8. COME BACK TO YOUR TASK:
Identify what task you need to address, the flight from which will diminish your life.
9. CHOOSE THE PATH OF ENLARGEMENT:
Ask of any important life choice: does this path enlarge me or diminish me—and act on your conclusion.
10. WHAT GIFT HAVE YOU BEEN WITHHOLDING FROM THE WORLD:
What wishes to come into the world through you, and only your fears keep you from serving it?
11. SEE THE OLD SELF-DESTRUCTIVE PATTERNS:
Notice the patterns which keep showing up in your intimate relationships, and from whence do they arise in your history?
12. WHAT IS THE BIGGER PICTURE FOR YOU?
Where do you stand in relationship to what is larger than you, that which asks more of you?
13. CHOOSE MEANING OVER HAPPINESS:
A life of happiness is transient; the search for meaning is life-long.
14. HONOR, FINALLY, WHAT YOU LEFT BEHIND:
What parts of yourself did you leave behind, perhaps necessarily then, but which cry out for your recovery of them, for your honoring of them?
15. EXORCISE THE GHOSTS OF THE PAST WHICH BIND YOU:
What old guilts or shames inhibit you today, and how can you grow larger than their inhibiting powers?
16. FREE YOUR CHILDREN FROM YOU:
Free your children from your own unlived life, your expectations that they ratify your values, and release them as you wished released from the expectations of your parents.
17. BESTOW LOVE ON THE UNLOVEABLE PARTS OF YOU:
Accept that fact that we all are flawed, which does not mean that we are not worthy of love, of respect, and of the power to redo our lives.
18. HONOR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DUTY AND CALLING:
Know the difference between work and vocation, that one is a duty and one is a calling, and that in the end, a calling is more important than anything.
19. EXPLORE WHAT ONCE MOVED YOU MOST:
What fired your imagination in the past, aroused your curiosity and passion? Those energies are still there, waiting for release and affirmation.
20. SIEZE PERMISSION TO BE WHO YOU REALLY ARE:
Where are you still looking for permission to live your life, and who do you think will give it to you today?
21. LIVE THE EXAMINED LIFE:
Keep asking “what matters most,” lest you be living someone else’s life, or simply staying on automatic pilot.
The artwork in the photo is by my friend Beth Drennan. Evidence that #10 is one she can cross of the list. She’s nailed that one.