At the lightning speed of a sloth, the concept of time for most of us is on a similar pace right now. Eyes open, the next day begins anew and then together places us into a very familiar routine. An intersection of frustration, peace, distance, purpose, safety, and overwhelm all seeking prominence in a unique maelstrom of time and events. They all furiously swirl together and coexist in some odd way which has every 24-hour cycle looking eerily similar to the previous one. Each new week already has its’ marching orders as well. Someone texted me last evening stating; “they were afraid they were going slightly mad” during this unsettling time in our history. It got me thinking…
I spend a lot of time speaking on stages to people facing adversity while offering my assistance via coaching or my mentoring capacities. Typically, because my life has been one massive roller coaster ride with a broken lap bar, most of these interactions are pretty relatable. At some point or another in this crazy existence of mine, I have faced just about every form of tough crap presented to me. Standing proud to be an adversity survivor, I walk tall each day and have learned a lot along the way.
When you face difficult stuff with as much regularity as I have/done, there is one constant which I found to aid in better assisting those trials. It is a concept called processing which I mention on page 91 of my book Adversity Rockstar. Practicing what I write about, this simple concept works without question. Nothing I speak of in the book is earth-shattering, it is all pretty simple and common sense.
Processing is the term I assign to the act of taking all of the confusion, chaos, anger, sadness, shock, awe, angst, turmoil, concern, and forcing this intertwined mess of sentiment into creating some form of a new perspective as its’ byproduct. Success may be achieved informally, but a concerted effort should be made to find a useful purpose. Timing is everything in my model, this step follows suit early on after someone experiences new adversity. For the purpose of this blog, the said trauma; collectively keeping from going stir crazy.
The mind is the greatest magician each of us has ever met. It can run through a routine over and over again flawlessly in our head. With each and every trick, there comes with it a new mind-numbing outcome. None of us are ever able to see the entire show because it was never meant to be this way in the first place. We only see what the illusionist chooses for us to experience for limited amounts of time. At some point, you need to walk away from the show and distance yourself completely for your own sanity. One needs to stop believing the current mind-trick and actually rewrite the gimmick to it.
When we face difficult days, it is human nature to overreact. This is where the trouble resides, in a complex state of confusion. It is where the mind-tricking first takes place upon the stage. A person is forced into their seat, while visual overload all but cripple the motor skills eventually. At some point, the cycle must be broken. There are only so many emotions a person may handle at the same time. Processing allows for a reset. You pick the locality, the terms, and the frequency for this occur.
For me, it completely changed my way of facing overwhelm. I relied upon it during one of the darker periods of my life, it actually became a regular daily practice. The physical act of finding your very own destination to open your mind, and to then allow the turmoil to drain from it. To sit in a zombie-like state for an hour or eight hours, and just reflect, decompress, and relieve.
I found my very own place to practice this, in the hometown where I resided at the time. Truthfully, it is difficult to go back there now, so I have taken the exercise and applied it to other destinations for the same purpose. Regardless of where I process, music is always a complement to my moments there as well. The experience is completely and totally, designed and driven by my own needs as dictated by the randomness I so choose.
My car is predictably parked to the right, down by a very small riverwalk area back home. Through the years, it has become my very own psychological healing spot. A place by which I sit for hours and hours on end and think about absolutely nothing. Allowing the mind to carry forth it’s slow drain of overwhelm out from my brain. Like the slow drip of an IV, the madness eventually dissipates. By the end of my experience, there is nothing left within, but an opportunity for clear thinking and rational approaches. It may take hours or days to fully get to my own appropriate space, but when I am there…I always know the eventual outcome. There are no tricks to be played after. I control all of my own visual imageries from that point on.
Each of us needs to have a special place during these very difficult and troubling times. You have permission to grieve, cry, or be totally pissed off at your current circumstance when you arrive there. Only you can make the pact with your inner self, to proceed. Mutually agreed upon in advance, when you get there you become all-in, and concede to be at one with yourself. It is understood, otherwise, without purpose it creates wasted time. Then, you’re just better off remaining home and staying safe.
Upon your return to loved ones shortly thereafter, allow them the opportunity to meet you again. When they ask why you are in such a great mood, simply smile and tell them you learned the secret to a new magic trick today. From there, walk away and offer to share parts of it during family dinnertime. (The perfect complement to your healing journey). As you do this, the faces around you at the table will look completely different, I promise.
For those who need to gain peace emotionally; find your river, your ocean, your field, your path, your mountain, your cliff, your patch of clover, your cloud, just…find. You’ve got this.