Welcome to Tuesday Tips, the weekly digest of life design tricks and techniques. All of my suggestions come down to practicing the same idea: don't worry, be happy! As Alan Watts says, "Basically, there is simply nothing to worry about, because you yourself are the eternal energy of the universe."
1. Make art just to make art.
What if you could make any art you wanted, but couldn't share it online? Is it still worth making if you can't get likes and favs on it? Try creating something for the pure pleasure of it. Imagine the act of you making art as a one person show with a one person audience--you.
2. Make your art better.
When I was a kid, I would frequently win the coloring contests at my local grocery store. My secret was simple: just use something a little more creative than crayons. Cotton balls for clouds and bunny tails always seemed to do the trick. When making your own art, ask yourself, "How could I win the coloring contest?" Inspiration will come.
3. Try this mantra: "I love myself, right now."
I made a nice meditation about this one. If you can repeat it over and over eventually you’ll train your mind into manifesting circumstances in which you actually do love yourself right now. It’s really neat!
4. Remember your power. Every thought is a prayer!
If you haven't checked out E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality yet, please do! It explains so many concepts of conscious creation with humor and ease. Here's a little testament to the power of your mind: "The only reason Jesus could walk on water was because 100 percent of his thoughts (prayers) believed he could. He had overcome the world's thought system that says Only an idiot would be stupid enough to step out of the boat. There was not one doubt--not a single thought (prayer) in his consciousness that didn't fully believe it."
5. Read David Cain's blog, Raptitude.
I was going to pile a bunch more tips in this edition based on David's articles, but you should really just go read them yourself. First: Why most problems never have to be solved. To summarize: write down each problem as it occurs to you on a post-it. Then go through your post-its at the end of the week and prove to yourself how many things do work themselves out. Then read The First World’s biggest addiction. David explains how every time we reach for coffee or alcohol or food or our phones, "we are training ourselves to be needy and dependent on circumstances." Finally, check out 15 unexpected side-benefits to living in the present moment to convince your mind to try it out, right now.
6. Examine your anxiety.
I came across this tumblr post about the long term effects of anxiety: shortness of breath, rashes, headaches, and fatigue to name a few. I've had all of those symptoms and it suddenly occurred to me that my inexplicable asthma and allergies are likely just caused by anxiety. Again and again I remind myself to relax and stop worrying. Now that I have made the connection between my thoughts and physical symptoms, I can be more conscious of my triggers, and more devoted to chilling the eff out.
7. Find your muse: channel desire into creativity.
You know when you want someone so bad it drives you crazy and you can't think of anything else? You can tap into that energy and use it to drive your creative work. From Think and Grow Rich:
The energy must be transmuted from desire for physical contact, into some other form of desire and action, before it will lift one to the status of a genius...The salesman who knows how to take his mind off the subject of sex, and direct it in sales effort with as much enthusiasm and determination as he would apply to its original purpose, has acquired the art of sex transmutation.
8. If you flow, you're a flower.
I found this gem by Forest Sage in the Universal Geometry Spirit Science video. "If you labor, you are a 'laborer'. If you work on a farm, you are a 'farmer'. And if you flow, you are a 'Flower'." Finally, an answer to, "What do you do?"
9. Be a joy for yourself to watch.
This reality you're seeing is for your eyes only. You are the performer, and you are the audience. Don't let what other people think influence what you do. Just do what delights you, right now. Sing while you do the chores. Type with a flourish. Sit up straight and smile for your camera. The only purpose this moment has is for you to enjoy it. And when you take pleasure in being yourself, others will too.
Prosperity Plan Day 7: The Divine Consciousness that I am is forever expressing its true nature of Abundance. This is its responsibility, not mine. My only responsibility is to be aware of this Truth. Therefore, I am totally confident in letting go and letting God appear as the abundant all sufficiency in my life and affairs.
I fell asleep while meditating today. I'm trying to get off coffee and the first day can be hard. I read, "Therefore, I am totally confident in letting go and letting God appear as the abundant all sufficiency in my life and affairs," then leaned backwards onto my yoga mat. I smushed my cold hands under my robed bottom and closed my eyes.
Today I felt tormented by addiction to such mainstream crap as beer and fried food. TORMENTED, I tell you! Every day I vacillate in attitudes between "FUCK YEAH I DO WHAT I WANT" and "FUCK ME WHY DO I ALWAYS SELF SABOTAGE".
I want to create my best work but then there is always a bottle of whiskey to finish or a bowl to smoke, and I've given up the preschool notion that I can create while fucked up.
So I go 5 days without drinking or smoking and feel so good and I reach this point where I feel good and good things are happening but it's like the natural high is wearing off... Even though good things are happening I don't feel as good anymore, so why NOT have a drink? Why NOT loosen up my mental knots with a 1 hitter?
I am so terrified to be honest in my writing and with myself, what if I get caught talking about smoking weed! My fear of authority is so outlandish even I don't take it seriously.
Then I find my band of girls on the Internet that make me feel better about myself, Cat Marnell, Rabbit White, Sadderall. I wish I could go back to my more hard-drug infested life because there are people who still have fun in this lifestyle, why can't I? Why do I have to get attached to every tiny thing that I like, dragging it around with me until I trip over it?
I miss the way I would open up my consciousness and marvel at all the dark, slimy bits. Now I jerk paragraphs of gratitude out of my fingers like I'm masturbating a dry vag, trying to get the tiniest semblance of good feeling out of my "work".
That's not true! screams some voice that I'm not sure if it's my higher self, my mind, or an internalized version of Kelly/my dad.
My writing practice is worthwhile and it is nice to think about what I'm grateful for but you know what today I am just going to write whatever I want and stop caring about following a formula so I can trick myself into feeling better so I can manipulate my mind into thinking good thoughts so I can transform my reality into something "better".
This is the only reality you got, sister. Time to start appreciating the dark, slimy bits.
I'm filled with incredible relief, to think that I could write without being formulaic. Without forcing a smile. But wait! Aren't you retreating into the person you used to be? The teenager angry about how unfair life is, the 21 year old vomiting because she thinks her insides are poison??
Who knows? *Lights one hitter*
I certainly can't keep thinking about "positivity" and I've about had it up to here with my "tips". Those tips are great the first time I realize them, but...
Quit questioning your own work! Stand behind your own work! You would be more successful if you felt more successful! Be proud of what you've accomplished!
And tears sting in my eyes (to use an overused phrase that is convenient right now), because I can hear that time it's my mom's voice. I'm trying, mom! I'm trying so hard to believe in myself! I'm trying to do what I think I'm supposed to, and I'm also doing what I think I'm not supposed to, and once in a while I just stop trying and I see it's all as it's supposed to be! What more can I FUCKING DO???
And I remember my earlier thoughts today, thinking about addiction being a "condition" passed down through families, I used to think my family was so perfect and immune, that I better be the one to dirty it up! But they were all already dirty they just wanted me to think I was clean, I don't know maybe something could change then...
I have framed my life long existential crisis as magickal *LIFE DESIGN*! And now I can hear my higher self coming to whisper, your life is magickal. It's all magickal. It's a cycle and you're going to keep going down and up but every time you go up you say it's worth it. You came to know the pattern of on/off have/want and now it's yours.
Why don't materially wealthy people do "the prosperity plan"? Why, after all these years, can I still not think and eat LESS? Why am I concerned with becoming physically LESS?
Why am I perpetuating these questions as reflections of my belief system? Why can't I change my beliefs faster? Why can I change my beliefs? Why do I feel like I'm talking in a spiral?
If I were a doctor, I would prescribe a big ol' dose of DMT right now.
*My mind shrieks from the corner* DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW LONG IT TOOK TO BUILD THIS MENTAL STRUCTURE????
Then I realize I am asking for radical change, mental earthquakes and ...
All I know is I cannot get involved. I can start looking more closely at the dark and slimy bits, but I must detach. I must get off the roller coaster.
The roller coaster of basing how I feel/my self worth on
- what I ate
- how much I exercised
- how much money I make
- how I make money
- what I say
- who I say it to
- Internet engagement (i.e., likes)
- how my partner feels
- how much attention I get
Will I finally be happy when I eat 1200 calories a day, workout 2 hours a day, make $60,000 a year, become Instagram famous, make everyone happy, and have everyone in the building crushing on me?
My mind is sooooooo tempted to say yes.
Yes, then I will be skinny. Yes, then I will not have to worry. Yes, then I will be able to pursue the things I really want to do. Yes, then my work will probably be better. Yes, then I will be so distracted by flirting that all of life will be 100% fun.
Let's wrap up this elaborate therapy session. So, what I'm hearing from you, higher self, is this:
"Get off the roller coaster. Be happy today."
And from my mind I hear,
"Only when I have become the person I want to be can I be happy."
Ok mind. The person I want to be is getting off the roller coaster.
All problems can be solved with a little love and light. As corny as it sounds, more hugs and "I love yous" and less criticism and effort can bring you faster and more permanent relief than any pharmaceutical drug.
1. Have a hug quota!
Family therapist Virginia Satir says, "We need 4 hugs a day for survival. We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance. We need 12 hugs a day for growth." Hug your partner more, hug your friends more, hug your family more. It feels so good and it's such good medicine.
2. Play the game "You Spot It, You Got It."
Everything you observe in your reality is a part of you whether you like it or not. When you notice success, you become more successful. When you call someone ugly, you become more ugly yourself. Kelly and I were looking at a celeb photo gallery of Kim Kardashian and I noticed we were starting to trash her. "You spot it, you got it!" I exclaimed. So we started looking for things we liked about the photos. When we didn't have anything nice to say about Kim, we complimented the environment or the composition of the photo. It's a much more fun scavenger hunt that cutting down people out of jealousy.
3. Try this mantra: "I love you too."
Some weird glitch in the matrix caused a text message from my friend to get resent over and over about 20 times the past few days. But lucky for me, the text said, "I love you too!" Kelly and I started saying it to each other all the time for no reason, and it was fun! Then we started saying about people we've had drama with, and strangers on the street. No matter who it is or what they've done, shoot a little telepathic "I love you too" to them and feel yourself and the world healing.
4. Try this mantra: "I give up."
Ever find yourself trying way too hard, or wanting something too badly? Just give up and let yourself be carried away by the flow. When you stop trying and resisting, life will bring the solution.
5. In pain? Try to just "feel" it.
I had a headache and was trying everything to get rid of it. Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra often suggest just "feeling" the pain because there is no pain in the Now. If you just place your attention on the pain, the light of your consciousness will dissolve it. So I tried it with my headache, and realized that I've been afraid to feel my pain because my mind doesn't know how to "solve" it. But I felt the pain and said, "It's ok, I love you no matter what." I just sat there, feeling the pain. It stopped hurting, and within minutes my headache dissolved.
6. Tell everything in your reality, "I love and accept you exactly the way you are."
Use this technique to bring your attention to the Now and project a vibration of love. Pet your cat and say "I love and accept you exactly the way you are." Say it to the lamp, to the walls, to your shower curtain. Take the time to truly appreciate what's right in front of your eyes.
7. Practice feeling deserving.
Louise Hay provides this excellent exercise in You Can Heal Your Life. Look in the mirror and say, "I deserve to be or have __________ and I accept it now." Pay attention to how you feel--do you feel accepting, or unworthy? If you feel unworthy, say, "I release the pattern in my consciousness that is creating resistance to my good. I deserve _________." Do this exercise every day until you start feeling truly accepting, and open up to receiving your good!
8. When you sit down to meditate, ask, "What is it I need to know?"
This is another idea from You Can Heal Your Life. Ask right as you begin your session, and then quietly and patiently wait for the answer. If it doesn't come while you're sitting don't worry--it will come eventually.