How To Get Out Of 'A Slump'
Yes, I’m going through one right now. That’s why I have nothing else to do, but write about it. Oh! The irony...
First things first: You think thoughts and those thoughts make you feel stuff and that stuff isn’t always TRUE!
Second: You CANNOT try and un-think yourself out of your painful thinking.
Nu-uh! Don’t argue...It’s true. Would you use paint to wash paint off your hands?
Now that we have that out of the way;
The fact is, you still have to start somewhere. You still have to think that thought, right there. That one, silly! About not using paint to wash paint off your hands, and how true that is, and how you therefor have to find a way to stop thinking. Got it?
Ok so, your thoughts whilst suffering a slump, sound more or less something along the lines of:
I haven’t made ANY sales/money
I haven’t got ANY real friends/love/happiness
I’m not really good at ANYTHING
I don’t even do ANY exercise
I NEVER follow through on ANY of my goals/intentions/resolutions
It’s basically too LATE for me to/ or I'm NEVER going to, succeed at ANYthing
Health Warning: If your present thinking does not include any of the above, or similar, please abort reading at the risk of becoming intensely Bored or God Forbid ... Pitiful!!
I know about this. I have also felt fabulous, successful and haaaappppyyyy and taken two milli-seconds out of my BLISS to glance in the direction of helpful articles for those-in-need-of-upliftment. And felt my face contorting into various caricature versions of Sad Slumpy People, and (horror!) giggling....
I’m not feeling this today.
So, humble Slumpy Bunch, let us huddle together and look at that list above. Does ANY of it sound like The TRUTH?
Purely rhetorical, please don't all shout at once.
Now, I always manage to get out of a slump fairly speedily. I concluded that I am obviously Bi-Polar and left it at that. Kidding. I decided, rather, that it might be a good idea to find out how I do this, in order to better understand the beast and Un-Slump even better next time. Until eventually, I'll be altogether RID of slump-type behaviour – for GOOD!
I have been observing my thoughts. I discovered that the mere fact that I was now in ‘Observer Mode’ made the painful thoughts a lot less sharp and prickly. I wasn’t HOLDING onto them and whacking myself with them over and over and over again. Till I bled.
My fave mentor of the moment, Michael Neill, has so many pithy things to say on this topic...and... I can’t think of one.
Back to us: Taking that list, thought by thought, I noticed that I eventually get sick and tired of beating myself to death and start adding “AT LEAST” to all of them.
One by one then: (rally round and hold hands, Slumpy's....)
I haven’t made ANY sales/money. (Ouch!) Well....AT LEAST I sold 3 of my new collection to one of the best art collectors in town... a month ago...That’s not Nothing.
I haven’t got ANY real friends/love/happiness. (Sob. )Well.....AT LEAST the one's I have love me enough to comment on my blog and call me now and then to make me laugh.
I’m not really good at ANYTHING. (Mercy!). Well....AT LEAST I’m good at getting out of a slump even though I think I’m no good.
I don’t even do ANY exercise. (Wobble.) Well....AT LEAST I do about 4 yoga stretches every now and then. And inversions! When my legs start cramping from sitting at the computer for hours....sniff!
I NEVER follow through on ANY of my goals/intentions/resolutions. (Aaaargh!) Well....AT LEAST I have done 50% of them AT LEAST 50% of the time : S
It’s basically TOO LATE for me to succeed at ANYthing. (Oh! My GOD that hurts.) Well....AT LEAST I am successful at Being Me; loving others, forgiving, saying sorry when it’s Really Hard To, lifting others when they are down, cheering with heartfelt joy when other people succeed, 'getting on with it' and eventually smiling my crooked tooth smile, even though I really, really don’t like my front teeth.
But, don’t be fooled, Slump-o-liscious Darlings, this is still, T-H-I-N-K-I-N-G. And it is a slippery snake - is thought. Just when you think it’s going one way, you find it has gone the other. And you weren’t even AWARE of it going there! Notice that you tend to say everything in extreme language in your thoughts: NEVER. ANYTHING. EVER.
Not healthy. And NOT TRUE. And sometimes we notice that there are actually a whole posse of AT LEAST'S we could attach, but that would require us to be a bit more Tigger about it and we are just Being Eeyore right now...
This is where I mentally switch on my internal ‘words of wisdom’. I take time to sit in quiet and focus on stilling the mind. OK, I grab onto my spiritual prayer like a drowning woman.
In time... or no time (yikes! that's another whole conversation!) I find peace. No more eternal BABBLING. Just a few minutes of this STILLNESS, brings me back to neutral. Back to Peace. Back to Hope and the Bright Side of the street.
If something like meditation/prayer is not your thang, our other Gateway to Peace is in NATURE. Move your limbs and breathe deeply when you are there. Look around and say Thank You. Thank You. Thank You, and again Thank You. Till you know what it means.
Another goody is doing something for others, for no good reason, other than; you can and they cant and it would make a difference. It can focus your energies outward, and re-charges the old batteries with good, clean, pleasure and thats it, no pay cheque, no award, just a simple thanks, you did good.
You know I have something in mind darling!
Im charged with making some T shirt designs for a breast cancer awareness group, to be sold for raising funds. Im thinking, if you must be asked to wear pink, at least make it "naaice' as you would say, why not make a T shirt someone would actually like to wear, not only on the designated think pink day in the office...you keen? I have a feeing you could do something awesome....I like the idea of a "designer"range if you want to include your signature, what you think?
Hello dear one, yes, I am rushing off this morning to do yet another one of those - for no good reason other than that it's for a friend/sister. Will mail you about your idea. LOVE IT! Thanks for commenting sweetpea xxx
Oh Leila. What a fabulous and timely blog! Yep. you have caught the mood my friend. i would happily respond to all the negatives you have made with a list of positives and on talent alone believe me when I have the money (this is my absolute intention too....hear that lady universe) that your beautiful images will one day adorn the website of my dreams, my business cards, my blog etc... everywhere!!!
I too have worked my way down that list of negatives recently too..... although on the exercise part I do feel long walks in nature with the dog do count even if I am not going to my yoga classes as regularly!! Your way of dealing with them is absolutely right. HOWEVER! The difficulty I have is coping with my slightly ADD (my diagnosis) brain that constantlly swings from hyperfocus to overwhelm and procrastination! An issue I have dealt with all my life!! Full of wonderful idea's, a dreamer but oh God what to do first! Running in mental and physical circles! I have a friend training to be a Life Coach who has been helping me with learning to approac things with the step by step and totally believes in the vision but I have some serious belief issues revealing themselves.
Still all part of this journey we are on. So will grab the dog, my wellies and warm hat and scarf and make my way over the snow and frost covered fields and all will be well.
Feeling it to penpal chum! :)