The last few days I’ve woken up in Shit Town. Have you visited before? Body feels like shit, brain feels like shit, energy low. Shit. Bit of drool crusted on the side of my cheek that I haven’t bothered to wipe off this morning. Shit.
It feels strange being back here. Until recently, I thought flights to Shit Town only flew via Melbourne (my home town). Shit Town has always been a purely Melbourne-based phenomena. Melbourne’s cold, dreary, rainy, gray – just BLAH.
But I’m currently living in Ubud, Bali. It’s 31°c (87°f). Everyday. I’m surrounded by luscious green ricefields, yoginis, spiritual healers and $20 spa packages. How the hell did I get to Shit Town via Bali?
Well, as it turns out, Shit Town is a location you can visit no matter where you are in the world. It’s an internal state. Shit Town isn’t based on external circumstances. I just had to live in perpetual paradise for a while to figure that out.
So what should you do when you find yourself in Shit Town?
Have you heard of that old saying – “when you are going through hell, just keep going?”
Pffft. Ignore it. That’s frickin’ stupid. When you find yourself in hell (aka Shit Town), it’s time to reassess.
1. Stop. Retrace your steps to discover how you ended up in Shit Town.
Reflection baby. When was the last time you felt good? What changed since then? What have you been doing differently?
I got sick early last week, but rather than let myself recover properly – I kept working. I only attended two yoga classes, when I’m usually there six days a week. During my downtime, I’ve been lying in bed eating copious amounts of chocolate and watching serial killer movies. Chocolate increases the endorphins in our brains to make us feel good. That’s all well and good, but chocolate also has a shitload of sugar, fat and other nasties that make us feel blah. Not to mention the sweet tooth come-down AND the disturbed serial killer movies that haunted my sleep.
Once you’ve done your reflection..
2. Make ONE small change to buy yourself a ticket out of Shit Town.
Once you’ve identified how you got to Shit Town – you’ll want make some BIG changes to haul ass outta there. Be careful – if you haul ass too quickly, you might get lost and find yourself even deeper in Shit Town territory a few days later. As per Leo Babautas’ Changing Habit Recommendations – just change ONE thing.
We have a tendency to go “Oh my god – Shit Town SUCKS! Time for some changes. I’m going to become a hulk-like superwoman who can move mountains using only my breasts. I’ll do yoga 8 hours a day, never eat anything with a shadow and I won’t work more than 5 minutes a month.” No. This won’t work. You’ll freak yourself out, get hugely confronted and two minutes later you’ll be gobbling down a family size block of chocolate in an attempt to eat your feelings.
So pick one thing. One thing you can change. Something that doesn’t scare you too much.
My ticket out of Shit Town? I’ve decided to stop eating chocolate for the next 7 days. (Please note my 7 day limit). If I said I wouldn’t eat chocolate for a year, I’d shit myself. 7 days is very achievable – and if I feel like extending this change beyond then, I’ll do it. If not, I’m free to return and make sweet love to my cherished friend Cadbury.
3. Replace your ONE thing with another (empowering) thing.
Yes! I DID just receive a literary genius award for that line. “Replace your ONE thing with another thing.” If that isn’t gold right there, I don’t know what is.
But seriously, when you let something go – something else needs to fill it’s place. In my case, I’ll be replacing chocolate with
cocaine yoghurt / mango / apples and watermelon. I’ve got a fridge stocked with healthy snacks – and I’m ready to roll – the plane is boarding.
4. Once you’ve boarded the Exit Shit Town Express, acknowledge the shit out of yourself.
I’m currently on Day One of my chocolate free life. I’ve eaten watermelon for breakfast, and I’m trying to convince @davedixon that it’s time to throw out the last block of Cadbury Black Forest that’s sitting in our fridge. I’ve been met with some resistance, so I might have to do it when he’s not looking.
It’s only been a few hours, but I’m ALREADY feeling better. A weight has lifted off my shoulders – I took the time to look at what wasn’t working then taken some concrete steps to change it. Shit, that’s awesome! I’ve decided to reward myself with a full body naked massage, body scrub and petal bath at Nur Salon. See how much fun not eating chocolate can be?
If you’re currently in Shit Town – what can you do to haul ass out of there?