I didn't think I was going to do a post this week. We didn't really do much to report last weekend. I don't really have any cool pictures, and nothing had really jumped out at me to focus on, so I kind of just figured I'd skip this week and then jump back in next week with some awesome photos from our Labor Day road trip to Montana.
But that didn't end up being the case. I was shown an idea an eerily amount of times the last few days, and it has cultivated a feeling of pressure inside of me so strong, that when I thought about not releasing it this week, it seemed suffocating.
So what wouldn't leave me alone this week? I mentioned in my last post that I attended a new moon party on the day of the solar eclipse. We set intentions and mine was to chill the fuck out and enjoy the ride. Since then, the idea of enjoying the process has caught my attention over and over. But not in a "enjoy the process, things are always beautiful, you just need to change your perspective" sort of way. More like a "Life is a shit sandwich, what kind of shit sandwich you choose is up to you."
Allow me to explain.
I started a new book this week. On the tail of my new moon intention, I finally downloaded a book that has been on my list for months: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck, by Mark Manson.. Yep, sounds right up my alley right? So why have I waited this long to start it? I'm actually not too sure. I have been re-reading other books, or working on yoga flows, and just never downloaded the thing. But it was time for me to download it this week. So I did. Here are some quotes that initiated this musing:
"Pain is an inextricable thread in the fabric of life, and to tear it out is not only impossible, but destructive: attempting to tear it out unravels everything else with it. To try to avoid pain is to give too many fucks about pain. In contrast, if you're able to not give a fuck about the pain, you become unstoppable...to not give a fuck is to stare down life's most terrifying and difficult challenges and still take action..."
This one in particular hit home, and if you have read a certain post or two on this blog, you know it's a self proclaimed struggle:
'Because when you give too many fucks - when you give a fuck about everyone and everything - you will feel that you are perpetually entitled to be comfortable and happy at all times, that everything is supposed to be just exactly the fucking way you want it to be. This is a sickness. And it will eat you alive. You will see every adversity as an injustice, every challenge as a failure, every inconvenience as a personal slight, every disagreement as a betrayal. You will be confined to your own petty, skull sized hell, burning with entitlement and bluster, running circles around your very own personal Feedback Loop from Hell, in constant motion yet arriving nowhere."
"The point isn't to get away from the shit. The point is to find the shit you enjoy dealing with."
Honestly I have written and deleted like 5 other paragraphs I wanted to highlight from this book but I'm just going to tell you to read it. It's a less flowery way of looking at meditation, visualization, and goal setting. On the surface, it mocks the spiritual world I have built for myself. But upon deeper examination, it lines up perfectly with them all.
Elizabeth Gilbert also talks about this in her book Big Magic (peep my eyes and ears list, it's already on there...) She calls it your "shit sandwich." (Okay, so literally as I was trying to find out the quote from Elizabeth Gilbert, I realized she was actually quoting Mark Manson - which if you're not paying attention is the fucking book I just started. See? I can't get away from it. Might as well write about it and let it all out. Anyways here is the quote I was looking for...)
“What’s your favorite flavor of shit sandwich?” What Manson means is that every single pursuit—no matter how wonderful and exciting and glamorous it may initially seem—comes with its own brand of shit sandwich, its own lousy side effects. As Manson writes with profound wisdom: “Everything sucks, some of the time.” You just have to decide what sort of suckage you’re willing to deal with. So the question is not so much “What are you passionate about?” The question is “What are you passionate enough about that you can endure the most disagreeable aspects of the work?” Manson explains it this way: “If you want to be a professional artist, but you aren’t willing to see your work rejected hundreds, if not thousands, of times, then you’re done before you start. If you want to be a hotshot court lawyer, but can’t stand the eighty-hour workweeks, then I’ve got bad news for you.” Because if you love and want something enough—whatever it is—then you don’t really mind eating the shit sandwich that comes with it.”
I can't say I have had huge sandwiches, but I will there have been snack sized shit sandwiches already. I will say some of my friendships have suffered due to my limited amounts of time lately. I am living with three dudes instead of having my own space in my own perfect little apartment with a walk in closet and all my acquired kitchen utensils. I carry a bag with all my showering essentials to a bathroom every day that isn't mine. (I feel like a college freshman half the time.) I don't own more clothes than can fit in a bag. On the outside it would look like I'm crazy. But I want what I am creating so much that I don't give a fuck.
The idea also popped up on an IG caption, and then again in Journey Into Power by Baron Baptiste - a book I am using to help create my own yoga flows for October. Baptiste writes:
"A baby chick develops the strength and vigor it needs to survive in the world by the very act of pecking, pushing, and twisting it's way out of its protective shell. If you broke the shell open for the baby chick, it would not survive, because it did not go through its own process of struggle and freedom. Remember, the prize is in the process!"
I also stumbled across this scenario while I was reading up on a blogger I admire. She was giving advice to people who want the "blogging lifestyle." You know, all the insta worthy pics in Positino with your watch #ad or sipping Rose on the French Riviera while companies pay you to wear their bikini. She talked about how she never woke up and said "I want to be a blogger." Because that's not really authentic now, is it? But she did wake up and say "I'm going to do what I am passionate about and I don't care if it seems crazy." Some people are in love with the result. Some people are in love with the process. Who do you think ends up more satisfied?
Look I get it. There's confirmation biases and there is also FB and IG marketing that filters the content I like while online in an effort to keep feeding me that content. So it's very possible that this isn't an idea bestowed on me through energetic enlightenment, and that it's just Google manipulating my buying habits. But google didn't take me to that specific blog post within a blog post, it didn't make me read the hard copy book I have in my hand, and it didn't make me wait 6 months to download a book that I should really be reading right now. When something knocks on my heart this frequently, I open the door.
Basically, these findings taught me two main things:
- I accept I was wrong in previous posts. I don't need to beat myself up for not relaxing and enjoying the ride more. This shit has been hard. I have done a lot of really big stuff this summer to start what I want to start in October and to live where I want to live while doing it. If my nervous system and subconscious are in shell shock, it's not because I have a bad attitude, it's because it's a struggle and I am doing my best to work through it. I give myself permission to struggle. I give myself permission to not always see things on the bright side and not be grateful all the time. Because building what I want is a struggle, but by god I will get out of this fucking chicken egg eventually...
- I love the process, not the result - which is a sure fire sign I am on the right track. I am not trying to be a big time blogger. Yes, I'd like to make money off my passions someday, but I am not trying to be a fashion icon, or someone who gets thousands of likes on Instagram, or have a perfect body, or give off any inclination that I have shit figured out or I have a picture perfect life. But I love to write. I love to work on this blog and give it little tweaks that make such a difference visually (if only to me). I love listening to other people who have done this before me and what worked for them and what didn't. I love meeting people in coffee shops and getting messages on FB that they want to discuss something I wrote about more. I love reading about grammar so my writing flows and I can capture ideas beautifully and simply. If I have a break at work I am listening to a seminar, trying a new yoga pose, journaling a new pose in my yoga flow journal, watching a new flow for inspiration, trying new photography tips, trying a new smoothie recipe - absolutely anything and everything I can get my hands on that will make ACE the Blog, ACE Nutrition, and ACE Movement become my reality. I love it. It's what I do on the weekends, it's what I do in the evenings, it's what I do between meetings at work. My boyfriend can attest to the fact that in the mornings I'm at the kitchen counter with my yoga books and journals surrounding me, and in the evenings I am typing a post, or creating a logo while we watch a movie. I have a lot of ideas and sometimes it's overwhelming with a full time career BUT I LOVE IT. It's my shit sandwich. It eats up all my time and I don't care. I'm obsessed. I have found something (and someone) that I will endure any amount of struggle for, because I believe in it wholeheartedly. I don't know where I am going with most of ACE, but I love the process. It started with a scribble in my notebook and day by day it's become this. It's still not anything big but it's a lot bigger than it was a year ago, so who knows what it will be next year.
Anyways, I hope this wasn't to rant-ey. I just had the feeling I should type, so I started typing. And now I think I'm done typing.
Thanks for reading along. Seriously, even if it's just one of you.