If you haven’t seen The Full Monty, it’s a 1997 film about a bunch of unemployed guys in the North of England who decide that for one night, they’ll bare all to earn some quick cash. It’s a funny, and in many ways touching film about the personal, inner journeys each man takes on the way to full frontal, public nudity.
Here’s a short clip of scenes from the film:
There are so many ways we can learn life lessons, and at first glance this may not be the most obvious place to look. Even seemingly light-hearted films like this have as much to teach us any book written by the biggest name author. It’s just a matter of stepping back from the story of it (like life) and looking deeper for the gifts.
So, here are a few brilliant lessons from The Full Monty:
1) Sometimes, the things we’ve relied on (or the way we’ve done them) no longer support us. (In the case of the film, the mill had closed down and left most of the town’s men out of work and collecting unemployment insurance.)
It’s how you choose to respond to the changes that makes the difference. Will you continue to bang your head against the wall, trying to shift things in the old way, or will you create a solution from what seems like a void? Will you change your perspective, and in doing so, allow for new and wonderful things to flow into your life?
Even in what seems like the worst of times, we have a choice in what we make of the experience. Whatever we choose to see (eg potential for growth and change), we can bring into reality.
2) Sometimes you have to be prepared to strip yourself bare and be vulnerable to move closer to your heart’s desire. It helps to shake things up and get the energy moving. (In the case of the film, the men literally got naked).
This can be a matter of stripping away all attachments to things you believed you defined you, letting go of old beliefs, or temporarily removing ‘externals’ to find what really resonates with you.
As you peel off the layers, you’ll find that you need only keep the ones that serve you. And once you’re naked, you can choose to dress yourself in whatever way feels most powerful for you. Brilliant!
3) Sometimes along the way, you’re really going to piss people off. (In the film, several of the wives and ex-wives were angry about the mens’ seemingly irresponsible choices).
Again, it comes down to holding true to what feels right for you, and choosing according to that. If you ignore the urgings of your heart because someone else becomes upset, you close your heart off, little bits at a time.
You teach yourself (and others) that your heart’s urgings are not important, and that their anger or hurt is a valuable tool for manipulation of your will.
If you choose to dance naked, stand in your power knowing that your body, space and life path are yours to define according to your own inner knowing.
4) This ties in with the last point, but is subtly different in its manifestation: you can’t hold out for unanimous support of your actions, because you’ll be waiting forever. (In the film, one of the men was not going to strip because he thought no one would want to see him naked).
The last point was about taking action, being thwarted by others’ responses, and relinquishing your power. This point is more about not acting because you’re waiting to hear full support before taking action. Self-sabotage at its best!
If you’re going to get naked, there’s always going to be someone who will find fault with you. Do you love every naked body you see, or are you more drawn to certain shapes and sizes? Do you love every bare soul you see?
It’s the same thing – we all have our energetic needs and desires, and we’ll always find some things more appealing than others. Such is life.
5) Losing things amounts to nothing when faced with losing track of your own self-love and self-worth. (In the film, a couple of the men lost their homes, belongings and partners).
If you lose sight of your self-respect, no one can return it to you but you. Even a relationship breaking down is not as devastating as losing sight of the Love you have for yourself.
As I pointed out in 2), sometimes you have to release things to discover what’s truly important. Once you do, you’ll find you’re starting from a more solid foundation.
6) Everyone has a story that we can’t possibly know until we open up space for them to strip bare, as well. (In the film, we come to know each man’s journey as the story develops. The experience of dancing naked together allows them to express their vulnerability in other ways, thus strengthening their bond).
In our moments of vulnerability, we open up a space of compassion for ourselves and others that leads to deeper connections. If we are willing to bare our souls and selves, others will feel safer around us to do the same thing.
The energy of the Divine Feminine encourages this kind of sharing and exchange, from our heart centres. It encourages us to meet each other with open hearts, accepting that every individual journey is a Divine contribution to the whole. Without them, humanity would not ever evolve.
7) Sometimes a little temporary discomfort results in big wins.
Dancing naked in front of a room full of strangers would do it for me. Or even metaphorically, laying my soul bare – it feels almost the same. It’s uncomfortable, yes, but at the same time, blissfully freeing.
It’s vital to push past limitations we’ve built in our minds to find what gifts lie beneath. Release the ties of guilt, shame, or whatever holds you back, and allow yourself to be all of who you are, knowing that it is safe to do so.
True connections with others are forged from a place of vulnerability and honesty – to our Selves and our desires.
*If you enjoyed this post you might also enjoy The Gift of the Present…*