This has been about as intense as days get. The last handful days have been super intense to be fair. Loads of crazy shit has been going on. Worldwide and here in the Fellowes-Ortega household. From my home country changing its status in the world and this country (Mexico) rebelling against its leaders in a huge way – which is largely a positive thing in my opinion and objectively. Though we will see if it goes how it should go or if it goes differently. On top of all that, we’ve had the full moon this last week too which, as always, brought its own share of craziness.
Apparently it was the same type of moon that we had in the summer of love..? You’d expect everyone to be rolling around naked, mid-coitus, eh? I guess the energy is just more of real intense purging than of an outright sex-moon. But yeah. I had a bunch of stuff come up about my past and some experiences which I had tried to forget. A load of guilt and shame surrounding that period of my life. That and a weird mix of feelings where I just want the people who were involved in those episodes to be alright and doing well. I do hope they are.
Then after that, our laptop started messing up. The mains had a false contact a few months back and the other day, it started playing up again. To use the laptop now, it has to be precariously balanced on our “table” (really an ‘up-cycled’ plastic bucket spray painted gold with a large flat cardboard box on top of it) and used incredibly carefully. I’ve not had the breakdown I usually have yet. The “I don’t want much” outburst. We’ll see.
Nonetheless, I’m in need of a detox. Energy detox. I need to “de-stress” as my mum calls it. De-stress and chill the fuck out!
I feel like that’s something we all need to give ourselves sometimes. That chance to think about nothing of import. That opportunity to say no to things you’d usually say yes to. I’ve felt for a fair while now that brief “episodes of madness” are crucial for health in a world like ours – one which requires relentless attention to maintain any part in. It can be pretty tiring to be fair. It can be totally exhausting to be honest. Yet, we’re not without hope!
Whether your life is set up in a way that the demands in your life are set by bosses or family members or set by yourself, there’s always that moment where you get like, “fuck this shit man. I need a break.” Some more often than others. I mean, the generation I’m part of are about as acclimatised to genuine elbow grease as the generations before are to VR gaming – an experience even the younger generation are just hearing is a possibility come reality. This naturally means that, for my generation, the “fuck it” threshold is considerably closer in any given moment next to that of the baby boomers for example.
What that means is that when life gets tough and stays that way, we all get tired out and fed up very quickly. And I’m no exception to this rule. Whether you frame it as a bad thing as say we just don’t appreciate the value of “good hard work” or whether you frame it as a good thing and say that our tolerance to bullshit is just somewhat lower, it has to be said that there’s definitely a benefit in a few days of madness – however frequent.
A YouTube channel described it perfectly in this video about the sanity of madness. They pointed out that we should definitely allow ourselves to have a couple of days where we do things differently how to we usually do them – to make different choices and respond to things in a different way. To spend your whole weekend naked or to answer every phone call, email or other form of text message with a different quote from your favourite film or tv show or even with just something you made up and is totally irrelevant. To speak in an accent that isn’t your own with every new person you cross paths with knowing you’ll never see them again. Or even just to sit around in your underwear, ignoring every call, message or other reminder that there is a world outside of Netflix and chill. These are freedoms afforded to us when we afford ourselves a few days of madness.
Personally, I’ve been letting my reigns be a bit looser of late – as a general rule. Replying to people’s messages/email/calls at a time that works for me rather than whenever I receive them. Less pressure that way. Caller ID doesn’t mean you have to pick up. It just means you know who to call back when you’re ready to. If you’re ready to. To realise that life does go on without you is quite liberating. And outside of desperate emergencies and acts of God, most times you don’t actually need to answer the phone in that moment or reply to that message instantly. My general rule is that if someone calls me more than twice, it’s probably urgent. If someone sends me a stream of messages and uses my name a lot or seems like they’re desperate, I’d be more likely to check them sooner. But life does go on. And there’s little that can’t wait three days while I sit around in my pants and play quests I’ve done a million times before on my favourite game of all time (The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion).
All this reminds me of a surprising realisation I had after meditating with my wife one night about a year ago. We laid on the bed, before settling down to sleep for the night, and meditated for about twenty minutes. Afterwards, we were both so serenely rested in ourselves that neither of us had the inspiration to speak. In fact, it almost felt like a crime to break the beautiful breathtaking silence which had been left behind by our meditation. Neither of us said a thing as we finished our night-time routine and fell asleep for the night.
It was only the next day when I reflected on what had happened in the silence that I realised something… 80% of what we say could be conveyed in only 20% of the words. Moreover, most of what we say is said just for the sake of speaking – of being involved in an interaction. Usually it’s idle and it goes nowhere. Something which the Buddha alluded to being a rather empty act in his teachings.
When you look at this on a larger scale, and superimpose the principle over other areas of life, it’s quite clear to see that the large majority of what we do in our lives is this empty fluff. And most of it is reactive. We have a thought, we speak about it out loud. We think to do something, we do it. There’s less of a vetting process than there perhaps should be. On top of the relentless babble of the mind, we do still have all these rules and regulations for ourselves to follow. It’s no wonder that we start to break after a certain point.
When things start to erode our honourable and valiant patience, we aren’t representing ourselves properly in our social interactions or in our actions in general. We feel tested by everything that happens that doesn’t go exactly according to our specifications. We get fed up and worked up really easily. It’s understandable. Why wouldn’t we snap? Sometimes we do need a break. And I feel like it’s much better to give ourselves a break so that we don’t break. I feel like it’s a good thing to act out of character as an intentional practice to stir up your inner pot of creativity and refresh your circuits – recharge your batteries. It’s certainly a better choice to misrepresent ourselves as part of an intentional inner-cleanliness practice rather than out of reactive patterns that end up hurting people and hurting ourselves.
Let’s face it, we’re going to get to the point where it all gets too much at some stage anyway. We may as well take the time for ourselves before we go all Adam Sandler in Anger Management about it. (One of the only films of Adam Sandler actually worth watching in my opinion). Is it not much better to give ourselves a few days of madness before returning to the craziness of life? And hey, maybe we’ll enjoy being insane so much that we don’t want to be the caged hen working at a desk with deadlines kind of crazy any more! Maybe we’ll want to be a swallow flying about and carrying coconuts from one continent to another! Maybe we’ll be an African swallow. Maybe a European one. Maybe a Brexit one. Who knows.
Just let it all hang out. Chill for a bit if you need to. You’ve got my support. As if you needed it.
Keep it real
Live, love and play