Don’t Be So DOGMATIC….

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TWO weeks have passed since my last post and for good reason…..

Some days you just don’t have shit to write about and it’s best to leave the keyboard or pen at rest until something occurs that compels you to create. Writing or any other artistic endeavor shouldn’t be forced. I’m not in the business of imposing my will on my own creative process or imagination. Besides, I don’t want to drown you, the potential reader, in a sea of uninspired, type written, detritus…….

So lets start with a little recap of sorts. Sleep has been ok, not stellar in quality but also by no means terrible. Hitting the sack when I’m adequately tired is still part of the game plan as is waking up no later than nine in the morning. Its crazy. If I adjust or try to push my start time up by just a half hour to an hour more, killer headaches result that can FUCK up the rest of my day. I kid you not. That happened to me twice this week when I got a little careless and hit the snooze button on my phone one too many times. For ME  I find that once I’m up, its best to stay up…..

Guess what?! I ended up breaking one of the suggested tenets for achieving sound sleep. As hard as I tried, boy did I try, I just couldn’t isolate myself from my bedroom for most of the damn day. This will change as I begin to work more and leave the house for extended periods of time but for now, it just isn’t practical. My home is shared with other individuals and often are the times that I find myself in need of privacy and my bedroom is my only escape. I moved the bookcases back into the room but the TV remains in the basement. Perhaps it too will find its way back upstairs…..

I’m learning pretty damn quickly that you can’t get trapped in an over zealous whirlwind with this shit. Shit meaning change. What’s the saying? The road to failure is paved with good intentions? When you take on too much too soon, like I’ve been, you create a toxic state of sorts in which you become a neurotic fucken mess, hell-bent on improvement and result attainment. Oftentimes, out of excitement and again, with good intentions, you fail to assess whether the tools you’re utilizing to create change are practical or even helpful. The key to it all is understanding that you have to consider your own set of unique circumstances before the implementation phase can begin. Psychology Today is a great resource but will the advice contained within its pages WORK for YOU? Not for abuela or your BFF, or some random dude you met on the subway but again, for YOU. So that’s what I did. The changes that resonated within me and worked out I kept and those that proved to be foolish and insignificant, I tossed on their heads. That’s the beauty of it all. You refrain from becoming too dogmatic and hopefully you settle into your Goldilocks zone, JUUUUUUUUUUUST RIIIIIIIIIIGHT……….

Speaking of changes, I’ve also fallen back from my personal Yoga practice. I’m going to be real fricken honest here people when I tell you that at this point, it bores the shit out of me. On top of that, I tend to get hurt while practicing Asanas, especially those that engage the hamstrings. To be fair, I’ve probably been a bit too over zealous, you must see a pattern by now, and in Yoga, as in any other form of fitness, if you don’t listen to your body, you pay the price. Injury can occur even in what is popularly termed a “gentle practice”. Will I hit the mat ever again? I’m sure I will. But not consistently or daily as I was doing. For me, it’s best to use Yoga sparingly as a tool to maintain a decent amount of flexibility.

What about meditation? Yikes, the new age wellness crew is going to have my head for this but, guess what. I deleted it from my program as well. It’s not a sustainable practice for me and the way my mind operates right now, suit me it DOES NOT. Stopping and setting aside a little time to breathe and chill out absolutely works, don’t get me wrong. And it’s a fabulous tool to have in your tool belt when you’re faced with stressful situations but, it’s not something I need to do for thirty minutes on end every morning. Besides, after the first five minutes, the meditation falls apart and I’m left on my mat, uncomfortably waiting for the shit to be over. A better idea for ME is to engage in active pursuits that induce meditative states or a sense of deeper presence. Hiking, the climbing gym, and strength training work really well in regards to my needs. Besides, meditation isn’t something that can only be experienced in a dimly lit room, while in lotus position, with eyes shut. Meditation is focus, its presence. It’s a feeling that one is fully engaged whether that manifests through deep breathing, bench pressing, walking, or having sex. Some people claim that they achieve a meditative state while washing dishes! Who am I to tell you otherwise?

As for the gym? That is one component of my lifestyle that I cannot do WITHOUT. It’s the one facet of my daily routine that undeniably benefits me both physically and mentally. It gets me out of the house which is very key for someone managing depression and it fuels a sense of confidence and positive self-esteem. You get to socialize a bit in the gym, listen to some tunes, and hopefully attain that ever elusive “flow” state. The one that feels like you’re exerting yourself but in an effortless way, if that makes any sense. I won’t bullshit you. Euphoria has never been a part of my gym experience but some claim that it’s possible. Sort of like the runner’s “high” that you hear about. I sincerely value my time in the gym and I’ve always said that along with the outdoor activities that I cherish, its been one of few things that has helped maintain my sanity for this long. There’s a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that you can bank on upon exiting the gym after a thorough session. It absolutely helps lift your spirits when you’re stuck in the mud  and for me, its my go to weapon of choice when I’m ready to exit a depressive episode.

So that’s where I’m at right now my friends…..

I just want to remind you. Don’t become overly dogmatic in your approach to change. Lighten up some and be prepared to tweak the system if it isn’t serving you. Give the new changes a fair amount of time but remind yourself that you aren’t married to them. If it’s not working, it’s not working. Next! And never feel pressured to incorporate lifestyle changes that are en vogue. There’s a lot of shit out here that doesn’t work and again, will not serve you. I could care less if its Yoga, meditation, veganism, Cross Fit, or the carnivore diet. Never lose your common sense and ability to think critically. Besides, you wouldn’t be your most “authentic” self if you did and the new agers wouldn’t like that very much now would they? Hahahahahahaha. Just kidding.

Peace out everyone. Be safe, stay healthy, and palante……..

Alexis

2 thoughts on “Don’t Be So DOGMATIC….

  1. Great post and can definitely relate. I tried to meditate and can’t get into a routine so I’ve moved in. This time now in January has a gloomy vibe for me. But we must still push on! I’ve experienced runners high and love the euphoric mood boost I get. Can’t wait for weather to get warmer to get back at my Brookdale Park sessions.

    Like

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