Living by Acceptance.
I was talking to a client last week when he brought up the movie, “Forrest Gump.” He said he thought it was a stupid movie. While I agreed with him that the movie was far-fetched, it sparks conversation about the way we live.
Some of my younger audience may not have seen the film, but the plot is quite simple. A young man is born (1944) mentally challenged, or as they say in the film, “a little slow.” His mother refused to allow the school to put him in the special needs class and arranges for him to attend regular school.
He joins the Army and goes to Vietnam. He meets a fellow soldier, Bubba, who dreams of running his own shrimp boat. After Bubba is killed Gump starts Bubba Gump Shrimp Company and makes millions. The story tells of the mishaps and accidents that put Forrest in perfect opportunities to be involved in some of the greatest moments in history. All the while, Gump just lives his life. He pines for the love of his life, Jenny, who never gives him any attention.
While the purpose for making the film was to showcase the technology and talent of the filmmakers and CGI artists in their attempts to interject Gump into some of the greatest film moments in history, I took another piece home.
Gump never had a plan.
He never really set his sights on any lofty goals or grandiose achievements. Not once did he show any real talent or aptitude for any skillset (remember –he’s “a little slow”). He never dreamt of doing or being more than what he was.
He lived Zen.
He lived in this moment.
He lived by accident. He lived by acceptance.
Gump lived each moment as a moment. He cherished wherever he found himself. He treated everyone like a friend, even when they behaved otherwise. He lived in the now.
When at the military hospital for his Vietnam injuries, he picked ping pong to waste some time. He had nowhere else to be, so he played all day. He eventually became so talented he played against the Chinese – and won. He beat them at their own game.
Then he quit. He had no further aspirations. He walked away and started running a shrimp boat.
When he made his fortune in shrimp, he sold the company. He no longer wanted to do it.
Gump lived moment to moment, and it afforded him some great opportunities.
At one point, he needed to clear his head. He ran out the front door of his house. And kept running. And just kept running. He left all behind and ran. Even then, he lived in the moment. “When I got tired, I slept. When I got hungry, I ate. When I had to go to the bathroom, I went.”
At the end of all that running, for over 3 years. He stopped. All he said was, “I’m tired now; I think I’ll go home.”
I have said many times that our greatest purpose in life is to discover our gift. The one we brought with us here to this lonely planet on the far side of the universe. Find that gift and use it to help others. I explained this to a client tonight before writing this blog post.
Discover your gift, make it a talent. Share it with the world. Do it one day at a time. Live in the moment.
Much of our stress involves plans that are diverted, interrupted, or stalled entirely by outside forces. I’ve taught my clients and students that the gap between what we wanted to happen and what really happened is where anxiety resides. We try to push reality to conform to our desired outcomes, instead of accepting what is. That effort results in lots of anxiety and stress. To escape the stress, we must learn to accept reality as it happens to us. Accept what is.
Gump mastered this. He simply accepted. He moved forward. He worked with what he had, when he had it, where he was. He did not regret his past; he did not fear his future. Each day was a gift. He told a woman on the bus bench that life was like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get.
How do we live like Forrest Gump?
1. Focus on the small things. The movie began and ended by watching a feather being carried by the wind. We are all moved through life by invisible forces. Allow yourself to be carried.
2. Enjoy where you are. While in Vietnam, Gump commented about the countryside and the rain. He saw the good in all around him.
3. Have courage to do what’s right. The first time I saw the movie I was shocked at how Gump instantly jumped to defend Jenny when she was playing naked on stage. He leapt up and punched the guy. I was impressed at his lack of fear.
4. Recognize when miracles happen. Miracles are events working in our favor (ultimately) and without provocation. Gump made several comments on miracles, usually quoting his momma in the process.
5. Keep your word. Gump promised Bubba he would be his first mate on his shrimp boat. Bubba died and so Gump kept his promise by being captain on the boat.
6. Love those around you. Gump never judged or discriminated. He offered love to all around him and was honest to a fault.
Perhaps by focusing on the now and not fretting the yesterdays or the tomorrows in our lives, we can be more at peace with who we are and why we are here.
This week Tai Chi will continue to explore the forms practice. Our class at Unity just learned the second form, and it was lovely. Let’s continue to move forward in the endeavor.
For those who desire empowerment coaching, I am available for appointments. Anyone who would like to book a session that combines therapeutic massage, Reiki, Acupressure, and sound tools (bowls, drum, and tuning forks), I am available for appointments. Contact me to begin your journey to holistic health.
Classes are as follows.
All classes are pay as you go. No contracts or commitments.
Dubois County Museum
Classes are $12.
Tri State Holistic Wellness
500 Saint Phillips Rd 47712
Classes are $10 cash
Saturday 11:00 am
Unity of Evansville
4118 Pollack Ave 47714
Classes are $10 cash
I'm available by appointment throughout the week in Evansville for
Reiki / Acupressure
Herbalism / Nutrition
sessions. $60 cash
Message me by text, email, or Facebook Messenger to schedule an appointment.
In the Tao,