Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Brain Detox

Join me in a detox.  It is not the type of detox that you would expect.  I love detoxing.  I love juicing and helping my body to rid itself of toxins.  I love the feeling of healing when I am extra tired, draining toxins out of my sinuses, and in essence a mess of healing.  It makes me realize how much I am exposed to toxins on a daily basis without realizing it.  It makes me realize how much my body loves to clean up when it is given the proper support to do so. 

One type of detox I think that we could all benefit from beyond a detox of toxins in the body would be the toxins that we expose ourselves to every day by the way that we think, react, and emote.  We can all benefit from detoxing negativity from our systems. 

Have you ever been in a situation where you are feeling negative, feeling sorry for yourself, and enjoying every minute of it?  Have you ever been in a situation where you have been completely annoyed by someone who has a seemingly unending supply of optimism and positivity?

I used to be that type of person.  I lived with a roommate for 4 years during college and after college who was spunky, happy all the time, and gushing of positivity.  I found it completely annoying and distruptive to my own daily grind of sarcasm, negativity, and cynisim.  I loved to wallow in my feelings and move through my feelings to the point of nausea to myself and everyone around me. 

I was studying psychology and human developmental counseling.  It was important for me to be in touch with my feelings.  It was necessary for me to feel all my feelings and everyone else’s feelings around me.  I wanted to grab hold of everyone’s feelings and help them to be okay with the blue emotions, the emotions underneath the iceberg, the emotions that everyone else tried to avoid.  I wanted people to embrace depression, hopelessness, fear, anxiety, sadness, rejection, in the belief that be feeling these feelings they would lose their power and that as quickly as the emotions come, they would leave and lose their power over your psyche. 

Unfortunately, this didn’t always work.  Sometimes the depression stuck for months on end.  Sometimes the pit of hopelessness kept growing instead of being filled in with hope.  And connecting with other people’s emotions didn’t always work as well.  I would find myself feeling all my feelings, everyone else’s feelings, and wondered why my friends called me “Melancholy Megan.”  To review, melancholy means sad, depressed, downhearted, miserable, down, low, glum, gloomy, unhappy, despondent, dejected, dismal, and on top of it all, the opposite of cheerful.

Yep.  This was me.  Melancholy Megan.  I embraced the adjective and wallowed in the pits.  People did love to talk to me (they still do).  Because I helped them get in touch with their feelings.  However, I was not happy, I was not cheerful, and I was not positive.  

And positive people irritated me.  I caught a whiff of their spunky, happy go lucky jump out of bed at 5am with sheer joy attitude, and I wanted to throw up.  I found them oblivious of reality, out of touch of their feelings, and completely fake. 

And I found myself living with a friend who embodied positivity and joy.  And we could not stand being around each other.  She could not stand my negativity and cynisicm to the same degree that I could not stand her Pollyanna zest for life.

We had to change to survive.  She had to become more real and I had to become a titch more positive and hopeful for this living situation to work.   She picked the room that faced the sun so that it would wake her up good and early for her morning prancing and I picked the room that faced the moon so that I could journal about all my feelings from the day and about the reality of orphaned children in Northern Africa.

Looking back on that experience, it is beyond hilarious to review where we were at in our lives.  After 4 years of living together, I was the most positive I had ever been in my life and my friend was becoming more and more real with her emotions and perception of reality.  She was able to be sad for a day or two and she survived.  I was even able to be joyful and positive for a few days in a row without losing touch with reality.  It was surprising and pretty amazing. 

Every now and then, I need to remember what I learned from my friend and this year I decided to intentionally do a brain detox.  I am going to fine-tooth comb through my negative thought patterns and find a path of more positivity.  Join me in this detox.  We are starting by writing down all our negative thought patterns that are hindering us in our success and passion.