Friday, October 22, 2010

Striving for Mindlessness

Since I finished my cookbook – really finished it: sent it to press, got a proof, made the order and began to sell it – I’ve been having wrestling matches in my head. My brain – all logic and no nonsense – has been keeping track of the ever-growing list of things to do to market the cookbook: finish the website, pre-sell books to local retailers, send press releases to local news media, etc. My mind, (I realize it’s a minute difference, but I’m going to call it my mind after reading an amazing book that changed my life called The Power of Now), on the other hand, has been trying to sabotage my brain at every step.

Here’s a typical conversation between my brain and my mind:

BRAIN: “Okay, today you’ve got to contact the people who you think will want to carry your book. Let’s make a list…”

MIND: (interrupts) “Make a list? What the f*ck is the point of making a list when there’s only one person on it, your MOM?” Who the f*ck else is going to want your mamby pamby book? You know anyone could have done it better than you could…it’s probably going to come back from the press with the cover on upside down…”

BRAIN: (quietly reciting the list in the background) “We should go to Wenatchee and see if anyone will carry it there, and oh, we need to remember to call Amazon to see if we can get it on there…”

MIND: (louder, angrier, pissed) “HEL-LO! ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME?!? YOU LOOK FAT IN THOSE PANTS!”

BRAIN: (stops dead)

MIND: “HA! GOTCHA WITH THAT ONE, DIDN”T I??? NEENER NEENER NEENER!”

BRAIN: (smirking, continues calmly) “Then we’ll start a Facebook page…”

MIND: “GAAAAAHHHH!”

Thankfully, I have been able to continue on with the lists and going through the motions to making my book a success despite all the doubts and my own attempts to self-sabotage. While I hope to one day get to the point where I can gag my mind and throw it in a dark room with no sunlight, at the moment I simply have to focus on taking the steps to get me there and hope it will shut the f*ck up.

With the realization that I self-sabotage, however, came the realization that there are many things I can do to stop it or make myself feel better. These are things that I’ve always done, but the difference now is that I do them to combat the feelings of failure or inadequacy instead of letting myself cycle into a deep, dark depressed mood. So, without further ado, my list:

1) COOK! Okay, I realize a lot of us (women especially) self-medicate with food, but there’s something incredibly soothing about actually making myself a meal before eating it to feel better.
2) Read. Having a good book to delve into, especially on my front porch, always takes the edge off.
3) Take a bath. With a book. And eucalyptus bath salts…
4) Go outside. Bikes rides, runs, kayaking trips, a walk…anything that remind me that it’s beautiful out there and out there no one cares if I’ve gotten anything done today.
5) Yoga. It makes my body feel better and always improves my mental state.
6) Call my friends. It’s nice to tell someone your darkest fears and have them remind you that they are all unfounded.

I told someone recently that I realized that most – if not all – of my problems are in my head, and that it both enlightened and depressed me. With that realization, however, came the realization that if the problems are in my mind, so are the solutions…if I can just shut my mind up long enough to find them.

Love and striving for mindless kisses
Morgan