For those of you who’ve been keeping up with me, you know I started down a whole path of re-discovery and adjusting my mindset late last year. I’ve been keeping up with that, and it’s included making my way through reading some recommended “self-help” books, something I never really thought would be a “me” thing. Some of the books have been okay, some have caused me to nope out, and a few books have made a real impact. “Fuck It, the Ultimate Spiritual Way”, and his follow up, “Fuck It, Do What You Love” fall into that last category.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
John C. Parkin had studied and practiced systems of Eastern wisdom for over 2 decades. In addition to writing several books, he and his wife Gaia founded a holistic center in Italy, they run a website full of great information, and they run Fuck It retreats and events around the world.
SUMMARY OF F**K IT, THE ULTIMATE SPIRITUAL WAY
Fuck It, The Ultimate Spiritual Way is about letting go of your hold on life, giving into the flow of things, and stopping doing the things you don’t want to do. His advice is to stop resisting, let things go, and really listen to yourself. And say “Fuck It.”
Saying “Fuck It” helps us recognize that what we thought really mattered doesn’t matter quite as much. It helps us stop trying to be someone we aren’t, or who we don’t really want to be, or caring about things just because we think we should. Also, as Parkin points out, sometimes life has other ideas than you about everything, and we just can’t see it because we aren’t letting go.
According to Parkin, the essential “Fuck It” techniques (in addition to literally saying “Fuck It”) are relaxing, letting go, accepting, watching impartially, and conscious breathing.
Parkin wants us to become conscious of how much we think about things, how they make us feel, and then taking the pressure off ourselves and removing our hands from the steering wheel. The effect of saying “Fuck It” is that you will give in and go with the flow. Tension can be released, and you start to see opportunities that you might otherwise have missed.
SUMMARY OF F**K IT , DO WHAT YOU LOVE
Though the first book touches briefly on job and career, the follow up, Fuck It, Do What You Love, is devoted wholly to figuring out what you love and helping you figure out how to do it for life.
Parkin really prompts you to be honest with yourself about what you love and what you don’t, and admitting to yourself when you’ve had enough. He asks the right questions to help you begin to understand your own feelings and how to break them down. Parkin encourages you to follow your gut and compulsions, while also acknowledging that you may not be able to dive right out of your current situation and into something you love. So he helps describe tools to start prioritizing what you love in small ways, and how to try to find things you love in what you’re currently doing in the mean time.
Additionally, Parkin shares ideas on how to tackle big projects, giving yourself rewards to stay on task, and not putting too much pressure on yourself. He stresses the importance of saying no and also allowing yourself unplanned “blank page” time in life.
The moral is to do what you love BECAUSE it’s what you love, because life is short, because you’ll be happier, and because you’ll be more relaxed. And don’t hold on to anything too tightly.
Similarly to Jen Sincero’s book, this one made a significant impact. The simple idea of taking all these philosophies I’d read about and boiling them to “Fuck It” was eye-opening and completely works for me. I’ve been able to start using it daily. Taking a step back when I start to get overwhelmed and just breathing and saying “Fuck It, it’s not that big a deal” or “Fuck It, I can get through this”. It sounds so simple but it really works.
I truly appreciate John C. Parkin’s honesty. He admits his own weaknesses, how bad he has been at saying no in the past, that he’s prone to over-scheduling himself. He never implies that everything is easy or that everything will always be awesome after switching to a “Fuck It” mentality. I appreciate the light-heartedness of his writing, and that he doesn’t make it sound either too hokey or too serious. His writing is inspiring, humorous, and accessible.
I’ve now read through both books twice each, and will most likely go back and re-read at least segments of both again.
If any of you have read his books, I’d love to hear from you!