I am generally a very optimistic person. Catch me in the middle of a sinking ship and I'll most likely be blowing up my floatie, applying suntan lotion, and preparing for a lovely although unexpected rafting adventure.
And then there are those other times. I believe Holly GoLightly refers to them as the "mean reds." Those rare and dismal moments in life when the universe has served you an entire platter of horse dung with a side of blah. You're scared and not sure why. You can't get anything done. Everything you do in fact get done F's up tragically, and all bets are off. Waaay off.
And there you are.
I find that once I've entered the "mean red" zone, there is a gravitational force that seems to pull all the heinously negative wrongest of wrong things into its vortex. All I can focus on is the Wrong Stuff. The stuff that is incredibly enticing to think about, but staggeringly poisonous to keep around in your thought-sphere.
Here's the thing– whatever you put out there, attracts more of that thing. So all of that energy put into focusing on the Wrong Stuff is in fact just bringing you more Wrong Stuff. It's a mind-bending nightmare of circuitous self-fulfilling prophecy. Yuck.
AND, the longer you're in it, the harder it is to stop and reverse. So how do you get back to thinking about and focusing on the Right Stuff?
[Can we just talk for a minute about how great that movie is? I mean, Sam Shepard walking out of the smoky crash site all fighter-pilot hot? And the Sally Rand fan dance scene? Absolute love.]
So, getting back to the Right Stuff– the stuff that makes your heart feel full and energized and lights up you and everyone around you– How do we get back there?
I have two ways. Both are effective, but I favor the second way, 'cuz I'm badass and that's how I roll.
1) Slow and easy.
2) Fast and hard.
The slow route involves force-feeding yourself Right Stuff in tiny increments, everyday upping the dose until you're back on your game. Think elliptical trainer at the gym; You slow it down gradually until you can finally reverse direction, and then you slowly gain speed again. Very fluid.
The fast route consists of quitting the Wrong Stuff cold-turkey and ruthlessly focusing on the Right Stuff; Similar to driving your car at 90mph and suddenly shifting it into neutral, skidding into a sublimely dangerous 180º, kicking it back into gear and stepping on the gas. Violent perhaps, but you get it over with quickly, like tearing off a band-aid.
At whatever speed you decide to slow the s#!tshow flow, just remember that while rhyming may or may not help, wholly selfless acts of kindness to yourself and others will most certainly prove revolutionary.
Ways to precipitate the Right Stuff may include:
Standing barefoot in the grass
Smiling at a stranger
Flirting with a baby
Wearing ridiculously hot panties (or not wearing them)
Listening to your favorite song while lying on the floor Savasana style
Looking at a flower
Writing yourself a saucy love note
Chewing an entire pack of BubbleYum and trying to blow a bubble
Watching an animal play
Googling "cute puppies"
Lighting a candle
Lighting a fart (careful on this one)
Sending a friend an email about how awesome they are
Finger-painting with chocolate pudding
Giving someone a supremely cool compliment
Not so bad, right? These things may seem light and airy-fairy to some, but I assure you when you are neck-deep in the "mean reds" this list will look like pure hell.
So, suck it up and get on it! All you have to lose is the Wrong Stuff. Ehhh, who needs it anyway? The Right Stuff is way cooler, and I have no doubt you'll be pushing the envelope in no time.