Posted by michael stanwyck : Thursday, Jun 13, 2013
Have you ever gone to one of those really private, negative emotional places? You know, something gets said or you see something that triggers you and sets you off into a cascade of nasty, personally destructive thoughts? It happened to me the other day. Looking back, it was an almost completely inconsequential event. No one outside of me would even have noticed it, but it struck something deep. If I'm not careful (and in these situations it can be really hard to be careful), I get pulled deeper and deeper, and despite everything I know, I believe the terrible thoughts and stinging judgements that my own mind levels agains me. In a real sense, I forget who I am and take on the characteristics and qualities that my wounded ego assigns to me - "you're alone," "you don't matter," "no one cares about you," "nothing you do makes any difference." Really gross and ugly, even demonstrably untrue, thoughts. Why would my mind even do that?
It wasn't until the next morning that something happened that "woke me up" again to who I know I am. I was in the middle of teaching my 7 am class and a song came on that acted like a key to the door I had locked myself away behind. The moment it happened I remembered what an enormously powerful thing music can be. It undoubtedly "soothed the savage beast" of my ego and left the prison door unguarded. What song? For me, there is almost no song like "One Day" by Matisyahu to re-ignite who I am. I can't tell you why. It probably won't be your song. I didn't grow up with it. As a matter of fact, I only heard it for the first time a couple of years ago when Tom's Shoes used it in their One Day Without Shoes campaign. Hearing it is like feeling my spirit soar. I was reminded of an amazing documentary called "Alive Inside" about using music to re-awaken people who are "locked away" by mental illness. No matter how many times I see this video, I am moved beyond words, not only by the power of music, but the freedom experienced by the people who are brought back to life by music right before my eyes.
So why would my mind do that? Whatever happened the night before completely challenged for me who I say I am and my wounded ego, the small part of me, shoved who I say I am, the greater part of myself, away in an effort never to have it wounded again. Despite what it feels like, it is literally a protection mechanism. Feel this bad once so you learn not to take risks and never have to feel this bad again. Left unchecked, that created part of me would remain locked up and I'd "get over it." Eventually, with enough repetition, I'd leave it alone and never free the part of me up that goes out on the skinny branches, takes risks, and struggles to create the world I want to live in. Over time, I would just leave it locked up and become someone who lives in a safe world of no heartbreaks, surprises, or disappointments. Numb. Not visibly locked up, but in a very real way, locked away like the mentally ill patients of "Alive Inside."
Do you have a way that you can reliably free yourself when your ego goes rogue? Do you have music that you know it is your key?
THURSDAY'S WORKOUT (NO CAP)
A) EMOM 10 for load and reps:
even mins :30 max H. Sq. Cl @ ~ 70% 1RM Sq. Cl.
odd mins :30 max dips
B) 5 rds for quality of:
10 tempo pushups 3:1:1 (3 count down, 1 count hold, 1 count up)
20 Hollow Rocks
- 10 min cutoff
C) “Squatting Annie”
AND COMING FRIDAY (NO CAP)
Complete 8 rounds of :20 work and :10 rest at each of the following stations:
Row (for calories)
1 minute of rest follows each station
Score is the total of the LOWEST score achieved in any 20 second segment at each station.