How to surf life and change direction when needed.

And do it without regret or self-recrimination.

Laurence Sarno and Ruth Farenga led a discussion on how to cope when when life is a turmoil of unexpected situations.

Thanks to the creative genius of our members, there are five ways to enjoy this wonderful experience:
1. A doodle from Anne-Marie Miller (Carbon Orange Graphic Design)
2. A video of the opening statement
3. A transcript of the opening statement
4. A Baz Luhrmann Sunscreen treatment by Susie Hinchliffe
5. An awesome animation of Anne-Marie’s doodle by Susie Hinchliffe
6. A video and book recommendation from Ruth Farenga (Conscious Leaders)

The video of the ten rules:

Laurence’s Ten Rules:

Number One
You are enough. This is true for everyone, but our Drive Tribe especially are all exceptional people. You are intelligent, knowledgeable, caring, and generous with your time and emotions. You show up for others.

Number Two

Acceptance – living a life where you can roll with huge and tiny problems with the same balance – starts with loving yourself. All of yourself. Trust an ageing transgender bloke; there’s no way around it. Life starts expanding when you love yourself. If that sounds airy fairy, we’ll get down to the practicalities in the next seven minutes.

Number Three
Forgive yourself.

Number Four

Excuse me, my friend Randy Rainbow wants to tell you this one.
[Laurence puts on Randy, a large, pride-coloured puppet made by Drive member Jo Bryant(The Hands On Company)

Take joy in your essential ridiculousness. As the great philosopher Tim Minchin said, “At base, we’re just fucking monkeys in shoes”.
How seriously we take our work is ridiculous.
Holding on to terrible things our parents said to us decades ago is ridiculous.
Sex is definitely ridiculous.

Numbers Five, Six and Seven
Be kind.
Be kind.
Be kind.
It pays unlimited rewards.

Number Eight
Life’s too short. Please don’t wait until you’re my age to understand this; do it now.

This theory has a number of corollaries.

Life’s too short to expend energy on things that only upset you. Unless your work demands you stay absolutely current on all major news events, skim the headlines and ignore everything else.

Limit your social media, your time and your emotions to the people you enjoy and the handful of causes you really care about.

Don’t be drawn into other people’s causes. Really, just stop. It’s no good for you.

Life’s too short to worry about what other people think of you. Some people will like you, some won’t. You can’t change that, so let it go.

Unless people are bleeding in the streets, it’s not an emergency. If your kid or your client has done something monumentally stupid in public, do what you can for damage limitation, but believe me, it’s not a crisis.

Harbouring resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. It only hurts you. Let it go.

There are no setbacks, only lessons. If something crap happens, what did you learn from it? This isn’t new age nonsense; it’s the way toward an emotionally balanced life.

The final corollary (and this is Helen Lindop’s favourite), everything is part of the process. If you walk out the house, realise two minutes later you forgot something, go back and get it, that’s not an extra annoying, frustrating step that upsets your day. It’s part of the process of leaving the house.

What could be more ridiculous than expending energy being grumpy about it? Life’s too short.

Final two points

Why meditate? Because if you meditate regularly, your own life story begins to bore you. The stories we tell ourselves about ourselves keep us stuck where we are. Meditation opens your life to new possibilities.

Why practice mindfulness? Because, bluntly, it gets your head out your ass. Another phrase for mindfulness is “do what you’re doing when you’re doing it”. If you’re taking a walk, smell the smells, feel the breeze, be interested in what you see, pay attention to the people you pass. Smile. Connect.

It’s way better than the hamster on the wheel in your head. Lots of my creative ideas come when I’m mindfully walking, taking a shower or doing the washing up.

The Baz Luhrmann Sun Screen version:

The Awesome Animation

Laurence has used meditation and “walking meditation” or mindfulness to help him through years of upheaval in both personal and business life and Ruth studied Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy or Mindfulness-Based Stressed Reduction through Oxford University, spending two years in teacher development.

Ruth’s previous Ask the Expert session on this topic including a short video and reading recommendations can be accessed in our Learning Hub
Other book recommendations:
Tiny Habits: BJ Fogg
Atomic Habits: James Clear


Follow Laurence and Ruth on LinkedIn

J Laurence Sarno

Ruth Farenga