What A Shift Feels Like
I'm sitting down to write this at 5:25pm, with a second cup of coffee and a few tokes in off a fancy hybrid pre-roll. "Great for blogging," boasted the back of the 6-joint box, which made me laugh, and also buy it without question.
Before I continue, this post will make more sense if you read this grumpy one from yesterday: It Is What It Is. Then come back to me. :)
As hoped and anticipated, my stuck EMO vibes from just last night have bounced back to a kind of determined, work-a-day gratitude.
I can pinpoint the moment I shifted.
It wasn't the bathtub cold dip--ended up not being as cold as I expected, even though getting in chest-high made me gasp a little.
It wasn't the wash of obnoxious tears that came as I moped into bed. It wasn't the sweet, sweet embrace of Teddy Fresh Bae, or the realization that being legally unable to visit my mom, month after month, as the world collapses into chaos, has been taking a toll on me. (sounds so obvious now). It wasn't the 9.25 hours of sleep, or the morning laziness, or the barrage of thoughts and 2020 sh*t that wrinkled my forehead and caused a fresh wave of tears before my feet hit the new day's ground.
All of these things certainly contributed to my shift, but the single moment that took my from low to high happened when Shane pulled back the corner of the duvet like a squirrel and asked me what was wrong.
I let him fully see me, puffy and sniffling, and said, "I don't think I can get out of bed," before giving in to a fresh sob. He just sat and looked at me with compassion. And then...
Before I believed it, and without much verve, I said: "Yes, I can."
I shook the last of my tears off in a kind of bad horse-impression and popped out of the covers. My lower back was sore, but I gave it love anyway. "Eventually I'll figure out what you need," I thought, massaging the tops of my glutes with all ten fingers.
I washed up and put on jeans--the loosest, most torn jeans I possess, that cover almost none of my legs and get wider in the waist as the day wears on. The jeans reminded me of what I liked about myself: I'm unafraid to be imperfect, unproductive, inefficient, or judged for those qualities.
I felt uninspired trying to pick out a shirt, and decided to figure it out later, opting to sit topless, hunched over Instagram on Shane's side of the bed. I was having fun looking at a mix of inspiring and silly sh*t, when Shane walked in, carrying matching stubby mugs of coffee. Cinnamon foam tops floating over cream-colored cups made them look like little personal cakes.
"I love when they look like cakes!" I exclaimed, turning my thought directly into bare, spoken truth with no added layers.
That's when my vibe caught up with my words, and I went from 'weighed down' by my thoughts to sort of flying above them. I gave all my unseen woes permission to slip off me, and they did. I felt lighter.
I hugged Shane with all my (still topless) joy, while gracefully balancing the coffee he'd given me in my non dominant hand (dancer flex :)).
Then, I proceeded to have an excellent day: uplifting conversations with my housemates, even more focused answers and relief in our morning breath work session, a catch up with my dad, a sunny errand run, a splurge on lunch at Tendergreens and some treats from Total Wine (for later :)). I sang and danced to the female-empowered, live action Aladdin soundtrack with a 7 year old over her private Zoom lesson. I got caught in the backyard sprinklers twice, once intentionally and once unintentionally. I sat down to write this blog with a fresh coffee and wet socks. As I type this, I notice they have dried considerably (I've been at this for over two hours eh).
There is a takeaway
Words aren't everything. Words can be epic battle-deciders. They can also be meaningless combinations of sounds. Certain words that carry a kind of inner power act like stepping stones for me between my highs and lows, wins and fails. Practicing more positive words isn't usually a solution in itself, it's a stepping stone to acknowledging your own, limitless potential.
I've been intentionally practicing 'happier words' in groups, at work, on paper, out loud and silently to myself for a good half-decade. And that's all it really is: an intentional practice. It has good and bad and better days. I scrapped "can't", "have to", "should", "hate", "old", "tired" and "scared" as much as consciously possible. I read about self love and learned to let my inner child speak to me a lot more. I tried to eat, and watch, and pay for things that brought me joy, and politely declined most of the things that didn't. I discovered a freedom in letting go of judgment, especially of people's first impressions. "I'm OK with that": my mom's quotable rule for responding to bullies in 1997 felt more fully absorbed and useful in my late 20's/early 30's. You're gay? Black? An immigrant? An addict in recovery? A Republican? An entitled Brentwood mom? A coworker with a sh*tty attitude? An attention vampire? A plain old asshole?
I'm. O. K. With. That.
I put a lot of time, too, into better energetic choices, word related or otherwise. I sang and danced off a lot of my more resentful worries. I relaxed into Abraham or Wayne Dyer or Bruce Lipton recordings on long drives to work, auditions, classes, and gigs. I meditated, in whatever way I felt like meditating, without judging the results (the results being falling asleep about 50% of the time). I bounced from studio to studio all over town, using free hot yoga trial weeks to center my mind and body in such a rejection-dominant, money-sucking city. I gave up my spot in traffic to stick my feet in the sand and wet my ankles with ocean tides.
Today, right when I needed them to, the good vibes I know I'm capable of used the words of a single, halfhearted phrase: "Yes, I can", to springboard back into place. Simple, imperfect word usage from years of devoted heart practice kicked my better self into gear, and put me back in a state I can work, create, and help others in, without feeling drained. Sure, there were probably dozens of other factors playing themselves out: trauma processing, unexpected pressures, star stuff... but I'm learning to trust in all those things too.
Let's focus on you, reader and friend and person I truly appreciate. A question for you:
Which part of today's blog resonated with you more? The gooey, sappy sob stuff or the messy journey back to smiling, or the smile itself?
A follow up: did any self-directed thoughts come up that triggered or judged or inspired?
It's OK. Every possible answer is truly, perfectly alright: we're on different but no less beautiful journeys, you and I.
I only ask because it's good, sometimes, to take a mental note of where you're at, so you can start to witness your growth and expansion in real time, which might honestly be one of the best things that happens in life.