Well today has been interesting. I've learned a bit about how to listen to my body.
I started with some good focus, after my morning ritual (which, yeah, I did xD). Got to Hubud using my shortcut. Dove into work.
Oddly, the Hubud dinner was more of a distraction than a benefit. If I could go back, I would have skipped it.
After about 3 hours of pretty good creative flow, I was feeling out of energy.
Now it seemed a little early to be feeling out of energy.... but there I was.
So I headed out to dinner.
Cracked open my laptop and quickly found myself reading blog posts, then watching a weird youtube show.
When I snapped out of it thanks to some friends showing up, I realized I had no drive whatsoever to create. I didn't want to do email, even though I had a bunch of important emails waiting on me. I didn't want to write newsletters, even though it's a big deal for the Mella's Grocery. I wanted to go home, read a bit, and sleep.
And that's just what I did.
Actually, I wound up with a serious craving, so I went out and bought oreos and cookies and nutella and binged while listening to a comedy show.
Thing is, I'm cool with it. It's 344 right now, and I've just woken up from a nap. I wouldn't be writing this except that I promised yesterday that I was done with late posts. So ha! Not late.
Now though, despite my stomach feeling weird (aka full of chemicals), I don't feel shitty about myself, I don't regret having binged, and I'm able to come here and sit down and write my hour.
Why don't I feel shitty? Usually, after a 'crash' like this (which is what I used to call it), I'd feel riddled with guilt and self-hatred. I would have been trying to work up to this point, failing at it, and hating myself. And because I didn't fully let myself go, I'd anticipate a serious downward spiral to come in the next few days, until I finally hit a point of full surrender and self disgust, and pulled myself from the wreckage to fix what had broken in that binge.
That's the usual cycle. And, while my experiment is still at only one instance, I'm recognizing a non-intuitive link. Ignoring my body, trying to force it to work when all it wants to do is read and eat nutella, is what causes the crash.
It's not that I'm programmed to crash. It's that my body, like all bodies, goes through cycles.
The crashes and other negative symptoms occur when I ignore these cycles and try to plow through them.
Now though, I had what amounts to a 4 hour 'crash' or 'binge'. And I'm done. I'm already planning the work I'll be doing tomorrow in my head (answering my emails, then writing the newsletters for Mella's Grocery.
So, one thing I learned today:
- My body, like all bodies, goes through cycles. If I pay attention to and flow with these cycles, I will stay enjoying life and be able to spend as much time creating as possible. If, however, I ignore these cycles and try to create in spite of mood, I will crash.
Another change in my life is my creativity. It's kind of...flowing. A lot. I could come up with reasons for this (many of which are probably true). I'm smoking weed again. I'm working with a team of people who nurture and mentor me through my hard parts. I'm writing for an hour each day. It could be the product of any or, more likely, all of these things.
Whatever it is, I'm writing poems to girls, speaking monologues into my phone during the walk to the road, jumping into naming sessions with entrepreneurs. Hell, I'm even recognizing, as I did in the that naming workshop, when an entrepreneur is too attached to one aspect of their idea to understand the gold they have nearly stumbled upon.
In this case, this guy had a great business idea worth testing. He was making fair-trade, locally-made, bone-carving jewelry. The genius was that he wasn't designing it. His market (though, as we'll get to later, he didn't see this) was thought leaders with a large following. Mostly instagram followers.
So picture this. You're scrolling through instagram and see a cool pic from a user you love to follow. It's a piece of jewelry with their logo on it. The pic has 'Fair Trade' on the bottom left.
The description says "Hey guys, check this out! I've designed some BohoChicK (made up that name) bracelets made out of bone here in Bali. I thought you'd love to have a piece of your own (and support me), so there's a limited run of 30 of these bracelets.
You can get yours for $20 + shipping by clicking the link in my profile description."
Dedicated followers (of which, on the lower end, these people will have tens of thousands total) will buy their piece and, voila! The beauty is that, while the product is kinda unique, it's far from unique enougth to make a buzz in the space. The world of jewelry is chock full of unique stuff. But, suddenly, you're not competing in the world of jewelry. You're not elbowing your way through jewelry stores, or Etsy, or (may the gods save you) your own website store. Your jewelry is selling via instagram and pinterest and the like...and it's being sold BY people who already have tens of thousands of people listening to them. Not only that, this isn't just some lame sponsorship. These people are selling it because it belongs to them. It's a part of their brand, and their followers recognize that.
So each sale is being sold by a highly motivated 'salesman' to a highly dedicated following.
However, this guy had his mind stuck on some default-based idea. His targeted audience, he vehemenently insisted, was the followers of these instagram people. And he'd be selling the pieces on his website.
Fool! His ego has gotten in the way of an excellent business idea. Instead of creating amazing jewelry and having it largely sell itself in big 30+ wholesale order chunks, he wanted it to have his 'name'. His website. So he could speak with his soul.
Eventually, after a few back and forths, I explained to him the gold he was discarding one last time, then left the table back to my work. I could see have way through my final explanation that he had tuned me out. Whatever, another artist trying to make money. C'est la vie. I don't know how he found this genius instagram idea, but it looks like he's gonna ruin it.
So, if you dear reader want a cool business idea, here's one. And, as far as I know, it's not yet got anyone doing it. Not even the guy who came up with it in the first place.
To be fair, I'm railing on this guy while I too have done what he is doing. Look at RadNomad. I am 100% dedicated to making RadNomad a site for minimalist entreprenomad gear. Not exactly the most profitable niche to be selling physical stuff to. Yet here I am, dedicated beyond any evidence to make it so.
The differnce, though, is that it's my side-hustle. I recognize that it's my dream business, I allow myself to get a bit idealistic with it, and I ensure that I'm not relying on it to work. It's a creative place for me to grow, but it's not where I place my dreams.
Which reminds me, I gotta spread the Dr. Bronner's post. Totally forgot. Will do tomorrow.
It's strange. Jernej and I had a talk, and we finally identified and isolated my default inner conversation. I tell myself I'm sure to fail, I have failed, I'm a failure. I'm lazy. I'm stupid. I'm ugly.
Seriously, this shit would run though my head at a rate of a few instances every minute!
Once we identified it though, and identified a possible alternative, it's not been around at all. I hadn't realized that I was doing it. Or no, I had, but I hadn't realized how wide were my options not to do it. It was just the way I talked to myself. The way I'd talked to myself for years.
It never occured to me that it simply didn't have to be like that.
I could listen to the advice of my ideal self, and allow him to embody me when able.
I could coach myself, and trust in my ability to achieve what I desire.
And I have been, for the last couple days.
The odd thing, though, is that it hasen't been an effort. It's almost as if the state of affairs, as it was, was so rediculous that once I could actually see it, changing it to a better situation became effortless.
So, how do I feel about how today went?
Overall, I'd give it a four. Even though I did not get much accomplished (and I did get a fair amount accomplished), my mindset was spot on. I was able to easily navigate fatigue into a short binge instead of a prolonged crash. I was able to focus and create a ton. I was able to flirt and enjoy myself.
I'm proud of the flirting and closeness.
I'm proud of listening to my body
I'm proud of flowing with it's impulses and so having a short binge instead of a prolonged crash.
I'm proud of waking up at 300 to write this.
p.s. as I post today's picture, I realize that there is something I love about unapologetic, brash, blunt, meat-lovers humor. Pissing of militant vegans is kinda funny. Especially if you can do it with sustainable meat (though I'm not sure this was).
Why am I nervous?
Something's got me on edge. And it's been growing all day.
Well, I finished Sally's writing. That's off my plate.
My arm still hurts a lot, but it's feeling a hell of a lot better than it was this morning. I give it another 2-3 days till I'm fully healed.
The pie lady whose name I should add to my Anki is having us over for lunch to taste her pies...which we will then sell.
(This post is dedicated to coach Ben Tormey for helping me finally kill my inner binge demons. If you are in need of someone to help you cope with binge eating, there is no one that I recommend more highly than Ben.)
I've struggled with binge eating for as long as I can remember.
Some people might be shocked by this, but for those of you who know me offline and have seen me scarf down not just one whole – but two or more pizzas – you already knew this.
For the most part my binge eating is completely under control; that is, I only binge eat for funsies. Let's face it, there are few things more fun than shoveling a bevy of delicious pastries down your throat until you create the perfect environment for mandatory nap time. I take that back. It's more fun if it's after all-you-can-eat sushi.
Anyway, I don't know anyone with a more powerful "inner fat kid" than myself. Here's how I was able to squash binge eating in its tracks for both me and my clients: