My #1 Tool To Get Out Of A Super Rut ASAP

June 15, 2013

japaneserockgarden

(Aka the war of motherfucking art, sucka. This will make sense at the end.)


What I say in this post:
How I am normally = negative nonstop thoughts
Definition of a rut = sucks balls
Medical solutions = paxil + come see me 2x/wk
Natural way out exists? = yes
What it feels like at the top = heavyweight champion of balleration
Get out of rut asap = write lists of positive aspects
Exactly how I write lopas
How postive momentum builds
Create your art = follow ur bliss (a must for happiness)
Steven Pressfield War of Art example



I don’t know if you are like me, but I’m a dude who thinks a lot.

Nonstop thoughts. Thoughts about the past. The mistakes I made. Things that could’ve been better. Thoughts about the future. How I can plan out the perfect case scenario to live a happy life.

And the natural gravity of my thoughts is towards the negative.

This is a topic that’s near & dear to me. And I want to share my findings with you asap.

My definition of a rut:
loss of excitement for life
sleeping a lot, even when not tired
can’t get out of bed
having hard time leaving the house
thought of strangers terrifies me (even interactions @ grocery checkout)
eating junk food & passing out food coma style
restless yet dont want to move
have hard time making eye contact w/ people
paranoid thoughts (ie: everyone knows my deep dark secrets & are making fun of me)
hopping from one distraction to another (youtube to yahoo news to hulu to porn to email to youtube to sleep loop)

you get the idea

Some define this as depression or sadness or whatever.

If you see a psychiatrist, he will probably prescribe you some paxil or wellbutrin. He will also recommend you come 2x a week or more to talk things out.

Once you start the meds, he will warn you not to stop taking them. Because that will make matters worse.

I can’t tell you what you should do, but I think there is a natural way out.

I define this rut as my natural state if I don’t ACTIVELY work on my happiness every single day.

I will eventually find myself in this state. It happens slowly, unnoticeably, until one day I realize I’m there and start panicking.

This is like a garden left on its own will be overrun by weeds.

I can’t tell if you feel this way. Because it’s socially unacceptable to talk about these things.

Because:
1. We don’t want to burden others with our issues
2. We don’t want to risk being vulnerable w/ others cuz they could deny ever feeling like this & make us feel worse or gossip with others
3. When we’re in this rut, we tend to isolate anyways

But this is real shit right here.

I’ve been on top of the world as well.

That feels like being the heavyweight champion of balleration.

Thoughts are lightning quick. Super strong eye contact to the point where the other party breaks the stare first. Girls will randomly chat you up. The doors of the universe opens up in your favor.

You’ll miraculously get to packed restaurants @ perfect time when a new table opens up. The owner will come and chat you up. You will talk loudly, make jokes, laugh out loud with no care in the world what anyone else thinks. Not only do you not care what others think, others actually think great things about you while you’re in this state.

They will randomly try to join your conversation. They want a piece of that energy field you are emiting.

This is championship inner game right here.

I’ve been there many times in my life. I just came off the longest streak of this gangsta inner game recently. It lasted since around August 2012 – March 2013. About 8 months.

The best part about being on top is that you become super quick with words & retorts. You pass all shit tests by pretty girls. You deflect & diffuse all situations with your wit & humor. Strangers love you.

Your inner vision field also strengthens here.

I can *see* everything & everyone, without even looking. I intuitively know what’s happening all around me. The perfect checkout aisle I need to go to. Which waitress is having a bad day. Which lane to drive in to avoid the inattentive driver who is about to make a swift lane change.

The muses talk to you in your sleep. You have vivid dreams about angels. You wake up bursting with new ideas and inspiration. You cant wait to go out, do some grocery shopping. You say hi to strangers and smile.

It’s really the best feeling in the world.

It’s really the best feeling in the world.

It’s really the best feeling in the world.

It’s really the best feeling in the world.

:)

When I’m in a super rut, I can barely see in front of me. My eyes start crossing. I’m too nervous and shy to even look around. It’s like having only one zerg overlord on the map. Super limited vision of the large map of reality.

Somehow I’ve found myself in a rut. I’ve neglected the garden. Weeds have come back.

This is EXACTLY how I got out, this week.

Step 1: Realize I’m in a rut (believe it or not, sometimes its hard to know you’re in one until it’s too late)

Step 2: Panic, berate self, test self by going out, fail & berate again, panic (try to not do this, but it’s inevitable)

Step 3: LOPA immediately, as in right now, seriously, right fn now

Lists of Positive Aspects is a term from Abraham Hicks.

If you don’t like metaphysical stuff, this kinda thing is also taught in positive psychology as well as by eckhart tolle (the power of now) + dalai lama & thich nhat hanh (buddhist monks).

It’s basically focusing our mind on positive things to force the negative momentum to stop.

Take a pen & a piece of paper. Write anything good you can think of at the moment. This will be hard since we’re in a super rut. Everything will seem gloomy as hell, but this step is nonnegotiable. Do it. Do it.

DOOOOO IT.

Here’s my starting list:
1. at least im still alive
2. at least the earth is still spinning
3. i like oxygen
4. at least my internet is fast
5. i do have some nice gadgets (iphone, mac, ipad)
6. im thankful i dont have to work anymore
7. im thankful for food delivery
8. it could be much worse. i guess i dont have it that bad
9. things have been great in the past, i know i can eventually get there again
10. at least i have a good sense of humor

Notice this is in progression. This sounds silly but when I’m in a super duper can’t get out of bed rut, I forget even a single good thing exists. So I have to start general.

What’s more general than “at least the earth is still spinning”??

The magic of this is that once you start anywhere, the momentum builds. This is real shit right here. This is the best tool there is. It works.

I’ve tried psych meds, therapy, float tanks, psychedelics, meditation, being present, emwave, eating clean, drinking a lot of water, exercise, reading books, listening to motivation tapes, etc. Every single thing I can think of.

Still the #1 tool is taking a pen & paper out & forcing myself to write ANY good thing I can think of.

It’s not the same thing if you type it into a computer or your note app on an iphone.

You must handwrite this.

The magic here is that it will feel fake when you write all of this out. That this couldn’t possibly help with anything. But it will.

It’s never immediate relief for me. This is important to realize. It’s not a magic switch.

What we’re doing here is slowing down a massively heavy negative train powering thru at full speed. We stop putting coals into the fire and pull the emergency brakes. It takes a while for it to stop going full steam ahead.

I’ll write as much as I can. Sometimes one page, othertimes like 5 pages. If I run out of sentences to write, I’ll just write single words. The most positive single words I can think of.

ie:
abundance
appreciation
gratitude
angels
muses
greatness
championship
legendary
mastery
wisdom
excellence
happiness
air
breath
heart
beats
rhythm

if I have a hard time doing this, i’ll go in alphabetical order, to make it easier to think of words.

ie:
abundance
beauty
comfort
destiny
effortless
friends
greatness
heavenly
inspiration
etc

What happens next:

So nothing magical will happen at that moment except you will most likely feel a sense of relief.

It might give you some energy to finally wash a few dishes while listening to a podcast. Once you wash the dishes, you may throw out the garbage. Maybe.

You may notice there is a lot of clutter on your living room floor. Fuck it, you think. Let me get a laundry basket and throw all the clothes in there.

Soon there is more carpet surface area than clutter. Ah, thats better.

You may be exhausted. So you go back to bed. The negative momentum has been eased just a tiny bit. You may watch the fresh prince of bel air and eventually fall asleep.

Next morning you wake up earlier than normal. You find yourself getting out of bed with a spring in your step. Still nothing magical. You’ve forgotten what you did the day before but you feel a little better today.

Make yourself some fresh clean bfast and as you walk into the kitchen, you notice the sink is empty. Oh yea thats right, I finally washed those dishes yesterday.

Do you get my point? This is literally a true story of my life. This is how to rebuild positive momentum.

And you must again manually write down positive things into the journal. Put more coal into that fire.

There are still more weeds left. The work isn’t done yet.

So my true real story is that I had neglected the mental garden for a couple months. I let the resistance take over and stop me from creating. I stopped blogging as much and stopped making podcasts.

Those two are my favorite things. They are also hard things to do. It’s easy not to do.

Especially when I’m feeling on top of the world, I forget that I have to keep feeding my engines with fuel.

So after writing positive words in my journal for two days straight, washing the dishes, clearing the living room floor, throwing out garbage, making clean bfast, then writing more positive things in journal – I knew I had to make a podcast.

I didn’t want to.

But I *had* to.

There was no other way.

This is my passion.

This is my art.

I have to do something that I love, but cannot get myself to do. It is my sole next step in rebuilding championship inner game. There is no way out.

But I know I’m no good at podcasting. My words will not flow easily. I will probably stutter. I will probably laugh nervously. If I’m lucky, I’ll actually keep talking for a few minutes straight. It probably won’t make sense but I will have a thing that I can upload.

So after pacing around my room for a long time, and pressing record on my iphone 3x and pressing stop because I stumbled on my words, I tried to record a 4th time.

And it was not great. Not even good. It was downright awkward to do. I recorded the podcast thru my beats headphones. It has a mic on it, normally used for phone calls.

After recording for about 40mins, I pressed stop. The product was not good at all but I did it. I felt so much relief.

That was last night. I felt good today. But still the negative weeds were there.

I did my usual distraction loops today. But I also wrote more in my journal. More positive words. More lists of positive aspects.

This time, the words came easier to me.

I made some dinner. Ramen w/ tuna + slice of cheese. Don’t knock it till you try it. Tastes freaking amazing. It was also the last piece of food in the house. There is literally nothing else to eat, so that hit the spot.

Then I realized I still have 5 red potatoes sitting there. I’ve been meaning to roast them in the oven for a couple weeks now. But didn’t feel like it.

After eating lunch, I decided to attempt this. Looked up a quick recipe. Popped nick offerman interview on larry king on hulu. While listening to nick talk about having hobbies to keep self happy and how he loves woodworking, i started cutting the potatoes.

I cut them into quarters. Minced some garlic. Combined potatoes with garlic + olive oil + kosher salt + fresh ground pepper. Oven preheating to 450d.

Took out some aluminum foil, lined the baking dish. Popped the mixture on it, cut side of potatoes facing down.

Recipe says 30mins but to check after 20. Turned my iphone timer on to 20.

Came back and watched another episode.

Alarm goes off. Potatoes look great at 20mins. Cooled off for a few. Popped open the fridge and noticed I still had a few slices of cheese left.

Bang, took a couple of them, put them on top of potatoes. Doused with tobasco sauce.

Cot dayum, tasted amazing.

Went back to bed, and wrote more into my journal.

Listened to some more of war of art audiobook by steven pressfield. My ears perked up when he talked about muses and angels. How they are real. How they talk to him.

But they only talk to him if he actually starts the work.

His job is to actually get himself to sit down and START something. Then the angels & muses take over.

He talks about how he spent years never starting or finishing. How he used to be depressed. Especially when he didn’t do his work. The work that he loves.

How he used to write books but never finished them. He didn’t have the guts. He would throw unfinished books into the trash. He was a mess.

Finally he FORCED himself to finish ONE BOOK. It was not good at all. No one bought it from him. But he was proud of himself for finishing. And he went right over to his writer friend to tell him he had finally finished his first book.

The author friend simply said “good job. get started on the next one, right now.”

I stopped journaling & the audiobook asap.

Got up out of bed with a spring in my step. Ran over to the computer to write this long ass article for you.

I’m back. The weeds are going down.

Hope this made sense. This is real life shit right here.

My war of art, continues…

PS: I can hear the muses once again. They’re back, happily chirping away in my ears. Thank you! I missed you. Let’s never break up again.

PPS: Here’s a simple clue to know if you’re sad & depressed. Did you stop listening to music? Has it been a while? Yes, your inner self is sad right now.

No, listening to music again probably wont help you get back. It’s not the cause but rather the effect.

Follow your inner intuition. Get to work on it. Then you’ll notice you desire to listen to some songs you had forgotten about. Done. Next.

## (photo source)