Ciao bellas! I’m in Italy! The sun is shining, I am sweating and all is well with the world.
I’ve just had coffee with my cousin in Milan, who I’m staying with for a couple of nights before heading to the F**K It retreat, which starts on Sunday.
And look what they do the coffees here:
They make hearts and smiley faces and stars! Hurrah! Hurrah!
With every sip in the sunshine I’m thinking F**K it to to-do lists, F**T it to my worrying about my credit card bill, F**T it to how big my bum is going to look in my swimsuit… F**K It, F**K it, F**K it.
Ooh, I feel better already.
I’ve been in an epically bad mood this week. What is about going away that makes you feel like you have to do everything that’s been languishing on your to-do list for months? I’m only going away for 10 days but I’ve been acting like I have to sort my affairs before relocating to the other side of the world, forever.
I’ve been wound up, hyper, snappy and a bit horrible to be around. I’m also worrying about money again. I’m off to Italy when I really can’t afford it.
I always feel guilty about travelling – I feel that it’s self-indulgent and unnecessary and that I should be at home working. My mum works really hard as a teacher and her only holiday is two weeks in Ireland in the summer. She doesn’t think it’s her right to pop off for mini-breaks in the way that the Ryanair generation (moi) feel entitled to.
But then as soon as I set foot on foreign soil I feel excited and alive and think: ‘why am I not travelling all the time’?! Life is for living! The world is out there to see etc!
Anyway, for now I say F**K it to over-analysing and guilt and I’m just going to make the most of being here.
And that’s the F**K It philosophy in a nutshell.
F**K It therapy was created by an English guy called John C Parkin.
He was working in advertising in London when he had a meltdown.
He writes: ‘For the first time in my life I lost all sense of meaning. I hated being alive. Ever single moment I felt in pain…. it was simply the pain of being alive.’
He knew he was really crashing when one day he found himself lying the gutter. Literally. ‘I lay in the gutter and curled up like a little boy and started moaning. And that was the high point of the week.’
Who doesn’t love a dramatic rock bottom moment?
After that John then started reading every kind of spiritual book known to man to find out what was going on. He got into yoga and Tai Chi and then he and his Italian wife decided to say ‘F**K It’ and move to Italy where they would run retreats for other stressed out executives.
At one of these retreats he was trying to help a Parisian businesswoman de-stress, when he suggested that she just say ‘F**k it’ to her problems and see what happened. She wrote back to him a few weeks later, raving about the effects of this simple profanity.
John realised he was on to something. He decided that ‘F**k it’ is the Western expression of the Eastern Philosophy of letting go and accepting what is and wrote three books about it – they became best-sellers.
He writes: ‘When we say Fuck It to things that are really getting to us we carry out a spiritual act. Fuck It is the perfect expression of the Eastern spiritual ideas of letting go, giving up and relaxing our hold on things (attachments).’
He says that in that moment when we say ‘F**K it’ we stop obsessing, stop making things important which are not important and we basically feel much, much better. It’s an expression that ultimately nothing matters that much.
He suggests we say f**k it to worrying about our weight, f**k it it to our obsession with work, f**k it to what other people think, f**k it to being scared of everything… F**k it, basically to everything.
Isn’t that cool? So simple, so true.
My mother has an issue with it though. She reckons she came up with this philosophy years ago. When things were hitting the fan with dad’s health and business and all was looking pretty dire, she said she lay in bed one night and realised she could either drive herself crazy with worry or she could say ‘F**K it’ and work on the premise that as long as she was alive and we were all alive, we’d find a way.
She chose the latter. It didn’t stop things going from bad to worse but they handled it and it didn’t kill them. Quite the opposite. I reckon you could put mum in a war zone and she’d be wearing perfectly ironed trousers and floating around asking people if they’d like a cup of tea. She’s so strong – the very opposite of her spoilt, overemotional daughter.
Anyway, while she would argue that I could just spend an afternoon with her to embrace f**k it philosophy, I’d rather do it in Italy… so that’s where I am now, getting ready to swear, dance, and eat mozzarella with total strangers. Check out how fancy the place looks:
Sorry if it’s smug and annoying of me to share those pictures – is it? I think it might be, sorry.
As a consolation prize here’s how you can practice your own F**K It therapy this weekend:
Go the freezer and say f**k it while eating a tub of ice cream
Call in sick Monday and say F**K it to work and enjoy the sun
Wear something outrageous and say F**K it to what people think
Say F**K it to worrying about the future
Say F**K it to worrying about money
See how you feel.
For added benefit try out the F**K it breath. John is a big fan of breathing (who could blame him? it’s very important, some would say vital even) and suggests thinking of something that’s bothering you, saying ‘F**K It’, sighing and then breathe out.
So ‘I say F**K it to my bad back’… then sigh and breathe out.
‘I say f**k it to my bullying boss’… then sigh and breathe out.
He writes: ‘Whereas the Fuck It Outbreath is about letting go and relaxing and saying no to things, the Fuck It Inbreath is about pulling in energy and strength and saying yes to things.’
‘If you want to get up from your desk and go and chat up the dishy new account director, take a deep breath, say F**k it and and do it. If you want to go travelling, take a deep breath, say F**k it, hand in your notice and book your flights. If you’re tired of your boring relationship, take a deep breath, say F**k It and end it. Today.’
Isn’t this great? I love it all. Will see how I get on for the week but I think it might be exactly my kind of self-help.
Ciao for now. (Look I’m being doubly smug, using ciao…)
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