Wednesday, August 26, 2015


“In The Producers (1967), the opening scene features Zero Mostel as a cheesy, second-rate producer, reduced to wooing little old ladies to get financial backing. He is playing a racy little game with one of his elderly paramours when Gene Wilder walks in on them. Gene, playing an anxious accountant prone to panic attacks, freezes and starts hyperventilating. Zero, in a soothing voice (but with an underlying subtext of menace), talks Gene out of the room. He says “oops, just say oops, back out and close the door…” 
Kate Kelly & Peggy Ramundo
from, "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?"

Learning to "just say oops" is not easy but it is a prerequisite for moving forward, finding peace and simply enjoying our lives. Often, we silently, (and sometimes not so silently) we berate ourselves for every little mis-step, mistake or lapse in judgment. It may have started early in life by parents, teachers or siblings. When we grow up, we stand in for those people by judging, criticizing and bullying ourselves.

The first and best way to STOP that cycle is to notice that we are doing it, in the moment that we are doing it. Often, simply by noticing, there is an organic shift. However, in most cases, it will likely take some conscious effort to change this pattern of thought, speech and behavior.

After noticing, the next step is to be a bit more gentle with ourselves and to give ourselves permission not to strive for perfection. Perhaps the way to start is to “just say oops” and move on. This shift may take a long time, but practice makes PROGRESS.