I noticed a no complaining / no negativity challenge posted by Jane Burgess the other day. It was “go 24 hours without complaining. Not even once…then watch how your life starts changing. “
It sounded like a great idea. I totally believe our brains are plastic and stuff like that works – if you can break the vicious cycle with belly fat and stress and cortisol FUCKING UP YOUR BRAIN and your endocrine system, for example, you can be happier, healthier and SMARTER.
Anyhoo . . . I ignored the challenge.
Until later that day when I heard myself bitching about some inconsequential bullshit, and complaining about how anxious and crazy I feel or how my body isn’t performing the way I want it to. And maybe criticizing somebody else’s bullshit. I think it was when we were on this walk . . . before the bats. So I decided to not allow myself to bitch or moan or criticize until I meet some health and fitness goals. Because getting healthier is plenty to keep me busy AND the most powerful thing I can do to probably solve or reduce a lot of my problems (like anxiety and depression which are super tied to nutrition and health for me).
In the meantime I definitely have no business whining or being negative about stuff or grieving about aging or being frustrated by people, places and things I have no (and shouldn’t try to have any) control over when HERE IS THIS HUGE THING I HAVE ALL THE RESOURCES I NEED TO MAKE SIGNIFICANT POSITIVE CHANGES. And I haven’t been doing it, except very half-assedly, which is lame since I am super fortunate to have the freedom and tools and knowledge and abilities to do pretty transformative things to this machine I am and live in. The wise thing to do is not waste time, energy and emotion on negative shit – it makes no sense to vigorously invest myself in stuff I can’t make better by talking about it (and that even makes things worse) even just for random moments when I can make big good change in my life by focusing on first things first.
I have experienced a handful of times how my brain function and feeling in my body can change so significantly in less than a week of eating right and exercising (plus some other nutritional things, like the B Vitamins) as to feel miraculous. I’m not even exaggerating!
Of course once the miracle happened I never pushed myself to feel my BEST . . . I’m usually super satisfied to just feel better.
To get into practice / break the complaining habit I’ve been making myself do 10 jumping jacks or squats whenever I catch myself being an asshole.
Some of the things that qualify as being an asshole / indicate I need to get up and do something good for myself are
- MOANING about pain or discomfort in my body / announcing whenever I’m sooooooo sleepy or soooooo sore or gaaaaaaaaah whatever STFU
- telling people on the tv how fucking stupid they are
- being impatient with or a dick to Delia (like today when I gave her a look of disgust and asked her why she was touching the outside of the toilet bowl while she was peeing)
- putting the GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME look on my face (at the grocery store Delia started just whispering how many squats I owed her when we were in line and this woman and her adorable fucking children started crowding around me / getting into my bubble).
- pestering people (usually Delia) to give me answers or feedback on stuff when I already have more than enough data to practically apply to make life better / wasting time seeking reassurance and guidance instead of doing something productive / am just annoying her. I DON’T NEED TO WASTE TIME MULLING OVER EVERYTHING I’M UNCERTAIN OF WHEN I *AM* CERTAIN OF SO MUCH . . . enough to keep me busy and happily productively rewardingly occupied for a long time.
- being resentful / mad / impatient
- being afraid
- obsessing over little things/symptoms that I imagine might be wrong with me
Sigh … I think I'm infected with Viral Imaginosis.
— Trixie Fontaine (@tastytrixie) July 5, 2014
Just like I’ve experienced profound improvements in life with exercise and better health and nutrition, I’ve also experienced miraculous-feeling peace and calm and nicer-personhood and reductions in fear and sadness when I’ve practiced reducing all of the above bullshit. That requires a lot more love and discipline and faith and utter brokenness than I feel like I can muster up with total purity to the cause of just generally being a better person, though. So I’m going to pair it with having faith that I will feel better and more up to that if I just focus on giving my body a tune-up as motivation to CUT OUT COMPLAINING. Except when it’s funny? Maybe?? NO! Nonononono. Just stop complaining. Right after you post this. Ahem.
So instead of doing the no complaining for just 24 hours, I’m going to do it for one month plus / see how I feel August 10th / on the next full moon. For one thing it’s taking me way more than just one day to get out of hypercritical bitch mode. Being an asshole is an addiction, I swear.
Next up (okay, up someday but I might need reminders if you’re interested): How will I measure that I’m tuned up? -and- Why Being Healthy Scares the Fuck Out of Me
I’m totally going to use Nancy Kerrigan as my inspiration for this. I can’t believe I’m saying that.
On our deliciously muddy lunchtime walk:
I love becoming more in touch with the seasons, in specific ways like witnessing what’s flowering when and for how long. I want to take pictures and make videos with/in all of it! Like the tall rhododendrons.
I keep wanting to do ghostly black and white sets with the rhodies in the woods, but also ones with colors. Every year. HASN’T HAPPENED. Which is one of the less pleasant parts of being in touch with the seasons somewhat when paired with anxiety; every year — every season — I feel the loss of all of these beautiful time-sensitive opportunities.
We didn’t shoot something cool while the rhodies were flowering. We didn’t whip Alex Talvez on video while the nettles were young. We didn’t shoot buckets of berry-picking pictures while they were ripe.
I know it’s a beautiful challenge, though, to FUCKING LET GO and not be so afraid of how much abundance there is that we can’t possibly experience and CAPTURE all of it. To not be afraid of death, every single year, day, season, hour, life cycle. I’m not the fucking Noah of porn who needs to trap every awesome thing with our cameras so they may live forever.
And when I am seventy? It will not be too late to stand naked under a fantastically gangly rhododendron while Delia takes my picture. It will be exactly the right time. It is always the right time for something.
At the beginning of our walk I decided to close my eyes and go blindly forward for two blocks. It’s a straight, flat road. No traffic. No obstacles. Delia with me to guide me with her voice.
WOW – that was so needlessly hard for me! And so instructive to observe my anxiety in a completely safe setting, and begin to practice NOT being scared.
To try to make my body posture bold and fearless and healthy (instead of cringing and stoop-shouldered and protective). To try to walk faster instead of trepidatiously. To try not to think I was about to be bonked on the head when shadows from trees WAY FAR ABOVE MY HEAD darkened my eyelids. To try not to care how ridiculous I looked.
Someday I could run a mile with my eyes closed inside the sound of my feet hitting the ground and my blood impacting my ears and the smell of courageous sweat and wake up to the brilliant reminder that the world is even more amazing when I stop trying to look at it forever. It will be here even when I’m not looking. Or when I am just plain NOT.
Beauty exists and endures without my hypervigilance and hoarding.
The world has no use for my fear.
I will probably forget writing/feeling this in 36 hours or less.
The weather is perfect and my body was stiff, so I just spent almost a whole hour outside stretching and soaking up Vitamin D:
I believe even 5 minutes of stretching can make you feel 500% better. So . . . how do I feel after a whole hour? Especially outside in the sun and fresh air? I feel fucking TRANSFORMED!
I wouldn’t trade that hour of stretching in our backyard for whatever crazy drunken bullshit most people are going to call a fun way to waste their three day weekend. And that is why we’re staying home and working for Labor Day!
I plan to post a wholesome softcore Labor Day-ish porn gallery for members tomorrow; I do hope my big boobs will cushion the blow of my holiday party-pooping here and reward those of you who stay home and do safe and sane things. Like looking at my pictures and imagining jacking off in my white panties.
Doing “Floor Angel” exercises I learned from THE AWESOME Katy Bowman on her Aligned and Well – From the Shoulders Up program (yeah, I wrote a customer review of it – can you tell I have a crush on her?).
Katy doesn’t say to do them naked, nor does she demonstrate them naked herself, but I thought it would make pretty cool Nudie Pics of the Day.
It looks simple, but with the bolster (a rolled up yoga mat in this case) under my upper back it’s actually really fucking hard to keep the backs of my hands on the floor once I start raising them up to shoulder level and above.
It’s already getting easier to do, though, and is an interesting sensation / way to experience my body and the way I’ve fucked it up (and can make it better).
Check out her blog (she’s funny, too!) and this free welcome portion of the Aligned and Well series that I think is so basic and smart and inspiring and necessary for people’s health:
I love visualizing blood and oxygen and electricity and waste coursing through my body and wanting to make open healthy channels for that.