Get your groove on….
I planned to write simple tips on how to wiggle out of those sticky, not so sweet, bits of life. It is turning out to be less simple than I thought, because so many of the “little tips” hinge on “larger bits” that I can’t seem to shove into the framework of bullet points or bold text. I think I have managed to not be all hyperbolic but also not all bare bones, I am walking that tight rope in information distribution. This is just a piece of the the delicious pie- so chomp in your chompers.
Mind over Matter
This is all about harnessing the power, embody Yoda. I couldn’t think of anything more perfect considering the striking similarities between those words of Yoda and yogi. Our brains are powerful, if you know anything about anything you would know that time travel is a feat that only is realized by Marty Mcfly and well, your brain. It can create the future in an instant, relive the past and bring us to altered states of reality that might just have such horrors as the likes of monsters, demons and 90’s metal bands. Yikes! I don’t know about larping (live action role playing) but I do know that with a little TLC you can make your brain world oh, so lovely. Are you picture beautiful men and cupcakes, or maybe that is just me…
Speaking of cupcakes. When I am making cupcakes; I do all the work, the mixing and preparing, then pouring them into their tins, I then set a timer and forget about em. I take this 13 minutes to do what ever I want; clean, read, make frosting…I often forget all about my delicious friends heating up that is until I hear the song of the bells. Now I am going to leap, take the timer out of the kitchen and use it in a different way, brain control. If you find yourself ruminating over something rather unpleasant, set a timer for a few hours later. Then, tell yourself until the timer goes off, you must think of something else and do something else, best of all, focus on something that makes you feel good. Since this is an avoidance tactic, it will only work if it makes you feel good, really good. Most things, when avoided for a long period grow stronger and can cause more discordance. So don’t ignore this issue but understand that you aren’t solving anything when you are playing a broken record in your head. Play the next song, it has a much better beat anyways.
Back to cupcakes, when the timer goes off and I am making cupcakes I feel all sorts of good feelings of anticipation and curious excitement. Channel Pavlov and condition yourself so that the ring of your timer is the perfect time for you to relax, take some breaths and have 10 seconds of pure bliss. (For the rest of the month I will set my timer for every two hours and with it’s reminder I will relax into some yummy sensations brought about through closing my eyes and taking some deep breaths).
I am totally into self love (Ow!, was that too obvious?). A sure way to bulk up your arsenal against feeling overwhelmed or anxious is to love the crap out of yourself, everyday. Don’t wait until you are already stressed! What if, you focused on ways to stop that pesky intruder, stress before it is able to get through the door. You might have to switch around your entire belief system to do this but first you have to realize YOU are the most important thing in your life. So pamper yourself; have a party with yourself (I am serious, party with yourself!), have fun, find the things that you LOVE (for me I read, dance, play and tell bad jokes). Fall in love with yourself so that the time you have with you is exactly what you needed, meditate, relax, breathe. Be your best friend and you best love-take yourself out for a date-I am sure you know exactly what you like. Take really good care of yourself; get sweaty, eat food that makes you feel good, drink water and get lots of sleep.
There is a little gluten allergic, sinus infected, glasses wearing, type A person inside of me and they love to organize and manage and get all up in my business. I have found that contrary to popular belief having a set routine is sexy! If you are a human, you probably get all “new year revolutions” and vow to be healthier, happier, friendlier but then, things happen, life happens-you forget all the other stuff. Those bright shinny new year revolutions now are looming like rain clouds and they are a persistent burden, you don’t have the time or the energy and their presence reminds you of your failure and the approaching storm. That sounds like FUN! lets do that year after year after year. Wait, let’s not.
All those things that you want to do, those things you love doing, those things that make you feel real good-put them on your calender and do them. When life gets hectic, revamp, re-evaluate but don’t throw those gems of heaven away. Your routine can be something that invigorates you and inspires you. It makes you excited for the day and the things you will experience and learn. It can reflect your goals wants and anything and everything that you decide. To me, that is pretty cool. .
I need to start a pocket protector, nerd, cheerleader team-we would say-get repetitive, get, get repetitive. So it is the same thing over and over again but HALT! have you not heard, repetition is incredible calming and can be like a little Valium for a weary mind. So find a routine that you like, then do it, over and over and over again-it will smoothly and easily become you.
What all of this does is organizes your life. It makes it so all those things that are floating around your head, as things that you would like to do….at some point. They are identified as a priority and set into a time frame and then little chicken, pluck away because you can do them now.
So much literature about living your best life always states a need to be in the present. Disregard the future and past and come into the now-all is good now, right? That is what they tell us. Yet, there are glimpses of lives we could be living, people we could be loving, jobs we could be doing, worlds that we could be creating, and yet we aren’t. The way to manage this confusing disconnect between loving now but also longing for something else is to allow these two, seemingly different worlds, to collide. Imagine you are going to go to a park you set out a nice blanket and enjoy a lovely picnic. Enjoy the walk to the park is what I am saying, but you have to do a little bit more than enjoy it. You have to make sure your potato salad isn’t going to go bad, you have to bring food that doesn’t need to be cooked, you might want to bring an umbrella or a jacket-you have to do a little forward thinking cause you want this to be a the best picnic ever. If it is was me, I would bring a boom box.
How do you do that in “real life?” The best way that I can think is to make the steps that you take now deliberate and reflective of your larger goals. Think what would you like in the future (1 ,5, and 10 years), write these things down, and then think about what can you do now to get that. Then when life feels overwhelming, examine what it is that you really really want and take the opportunity to change your goals, actions, and daily activities to reflect who you would like to be.
There are a plethora of quotes that say things like ‘that which doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger,’ and ‘no pain no gain.’ There is a assertion that these struggles are good, bring on the challenge, I am going to suffer through it. eh, I am not into it.
Struggles and pain are inevitable in life and part of the beautiful complex human experience. It is true that there are no guaranties in life, and to some this can feel like since there is no guaranty, one has to continuously fight for what is wanted. Relationships fade, money comes and goes, children misbehave, friends hurt us, we are not appreciated at work, we aren’t picked first, there are others who are better, stronger, prettier than we are, we are trying to get out of debt, fights, conflicts, anger….I am getting a little down just typing all of those words and that is just the eggs and flour that isn’t the whole cake. It can feel like there is a battle that is being waged and it is us versus life and no one wins.
A lot of times when life throws us a curve ball we want to stand firmly, grab our bat and smash that baby to smithereens. This might work for that one throw but those balls keep on flying until you start play the game differently. Really, when life gets real hard something that can be really helpful is to get intimate with yourself (curve ball analogy ends here). Honestly, listen to the struggle-ask some questions to yourself, like what is up? Figure out why this is so hard for you and then ask yourself,what can I learn from this? If you see every single one of those little hiccups in the road as a chance to learn and grow, you will exit from the other side of life’s challenges more capable and more able to deal with whatever gets tossed your way.
It seems that often when life is challenging it causes us to look at ourselves and see what others are doing TO us or what is happening TO us. Take a second to put things in to perspective. Put on the other persons shoes, think about this problem 5 or 10 years from now, think about the other problems that are facing people all over the world. How does your problem feel now?
One way to change your perspective is to physically change your state. Get the heck out of your comfort zone, do something you would have never thought you would do, join a class, do something scary, read a book you wouldn’t typically read. I like to climb trees until I got uncomfortably high and then try to figure out how to get back down. It doesn’t sound like much but when you are able to confront fear and overcome it, in the physical realm it can help to alleviate fear in other areas.
I am pretty good at having fun-scratch that, I bring the fun. When ever I am feeling a bit in a funk I know a sure fire way to get me to stop mulling over what ever it is and put a smile on my face is to enjoy life. If you are the type who isn’t really sure how to do that, hang out with children-it is best if they are younger and a pleasure to be around-kick the ball around, play some house, blow some stuff up, make faces, whatever. Play! Get out into nature, take a walk, smell some roses (seriously), pick some flowers and put them in your house (or give them away), walk barefoot…Get out! I have worked on projects that have been really frustrating or I was trying to accomplish something that was causing me stress (packing for the peacecorps) what really helped me was to just leave. Removing yourself from the thing that is causing you stress can give you a chance to relax and then you can come back to it with a new sense of zest and zeal. Along that same token projects and creation are some of the best ways to just enjoy yourself. Make things, do things, try out stuff you have never tried. Make a list of things you would love to do or have been wanting to do-then do it.
Enjoying life is about enjoying where you are at, right now. Look around you and take in all that is there, be inspired to play, create and have fun!
Love, love, love your friends and make new ones. Make sure you make time for your friends as they are the sweet nectar of life. Recruit the ladies and men in your life who are your number ones; phone a friend, go on a friend date, get some coffee, go roller skating, take a walk, see a movie-just be together and connect to the ones you love. Give each other hugs, smiles and share the love.