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Purrfectly Speaking: Back to School
by Anita Charlot

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It's back-to-school time—time to stand in line fighting with the other parents over the school- and grade-specific folders, pens and markers. It's also time for our children to reconnect with their friends from the previous school year and discuss everything they did over the summer. Do you remember when your only worry was whether or not someone else would have the same 'back-to-school' first-day outfit on? Those were the days…right?

What was your attitude about school back in the day? Did you look forward to getting up and facing the new challenges that each day would bring? If you attended a class that managed to push your buttons…did you walk away from it in anger or were you able to turn and look the other way? Did you walk around complaining about it all day or did you just shrug it off and head on to the next class?

How excited were you when graduation time came along? I bet you thought that school was over, didn't you? Well, that's what I thought, too, but as it turns out…that life is one big university. Each day we are given the opportunity to learn more about ourselves in relation to others as well as pay attention to the small things.

Every person who we interact with is a life professor…a mini-Buddha, if you will. If you were to sit back and think about your interaction with every person throughout any particular day, you would be able to identify at least one thing that the experience of each and every person taught you.

When facing the challenging classes of life, such as the loss of a job or the death of a loved one, do you carry it around with you every day or are you able to shrug it off like you did while you were in school as a kid? As a child, it was very easy to let things go or just accept situations and people for what they were. As an adult, with the challenge of our personalities and our opinions…we struggle.

We struggle because we have our preconceived notions of how a particular situation should be. We have this idea that we know what's best for everyone ( and I'm guilty of this as well ) and when they don't do what we think they should have…we get angry. We struggle because, instead of seeing our interaction with that person as a life lesson, we are holding on to a perceived wrong or injustice.

What do you think would happen if you were to change the way you looked at that particular issue? Dr. Wayne W. Dyer says that if you 'change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change.' Are there any situations that you are holding on to at this moment? Are there things that have long since passed but you can't seem to let go of? If you were to look at that situation differently—see that person as a mini-Buddha or life professor and identify the lesson—do you think that the situation would change? Would you be able to let it go then?

I challenge you at this very moment to look at your life situation, your interactions with people ( in your present as well as your past ) and identify the reason ( the lesson ) for having that person in your life. Choose one particular negative relationship/interaction and apply the same lens. Look at it differently. See the lessons and the willingness of the other person's spirit to meet you back here during this lifetime to assist you in your soul's journey; then, just like when you were in school…'shrug it off.' Life is too short to hold on to negativity. Do not let your past cloud the present or dictate your future. Identify the lessons, be grateful for them…and then move on to the next class because, baby, there will always be one.

Until next month…Anita

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