For those of you who haven’t heard of Scrumpy-Hands, it’s an Antipodean drinking game where two family-size bottles of budget cider are masking-taped to your hands and no-one will cut them off until they’re empty, meaning you have to consume the lot before you can ‘break the seal’ (go to the toilet).
I thought of it earlier today when I was crafting a basketball analogy to explain to my tribe my tenuous grip on self-worth. Most days, I have it in hand. I wake up in the morning, I kick my inner critic in the nuts, and I go about my day – genuinely trying to move forward, be it through work, creation, yoga, or just not eating pastries for 12hours straight. #thestruggleisreal #smallwinsarestillwins
But this week is hard going. And for a good reason – I spent November at a retreat in Bali facing all of my inner demons in 30days flat. It was wonderful, and devastating. Elating, and akin to being hit by a truck. Eye-opening, and terrifying. And anytime you get very real very fast, you’re going to have some peaks and troughs to follow. Because we don’t really exorcise our survival patterns, rather we bring them out into the light, analyse them, and create functional, sustainable methods for managing them. And this one… I’m not sure I have the tools for. Yet.
When I say I have a tenuous hold on self-worth, think of it like this. Imagine my worth is a basketball. I am holding it in both hands, and I feel steady. Basketballs are naturally grippy – they’re designed to be held. We have opposable thumbs, fingernails, and soft somewhat tacky skin on our hands; we are designed to hold things. But the minute I leave the house, everyone who passes me smacks the ball out of my hands. Sometimes downwards, onto the pavement. Sometimes upwards, and it hits me in the face.
On days when I have achieved something, or my outfit is en pointe, or my skin isn’t breaking out, I have a better grip on the basketball, and not everyone is able to take it from me. But when I am unemployed, trying to forge a new career, inexplicably unsure of how to dress myself so that I actually look like me, and my skin is utterly losing its shit… It is much easier to lose the ball. And there seem to be a lot more beautiful, successful, creative and inspiring people who unintentionally hit it upwards.
I said this to my tribe. And they were unsurprisingly wonderful. They feel me. They understand. As they are mostly women, and women are notoriously harsh critics of themselves, they have felt similar and they empathise. And they had many wonderful suggestions. So I am going to try some guided meditations. I am going to get back on my yoga mat. I am going to familiarise myself with the psychology of comparison and try to do it smarter. And I’m going to keep kicking my inner critic in the nuts. Because it’s a real dickhead.
AND, I’m going to reset my body clock and create a better morning routine; one that is more indicative and respectful of all the amazing things I learned about life and myself in Bali. Because, as Rumi says, ‘The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.’
I would love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment below if you can contribute, because I know this is a widespread issue. Share your light – you never know who is reading and who needs precisely your brand of wisdom. Peace xo