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Listen, I’m not a liar so I’m going to give it to you straight. I’m not very good at following the rules. I’m actually pretty terrible at it.
When I go to those little trivia nights they have at bars, I can’t help myself from Googling the answers before everyone makes their guesses.
When my husband shares his Wordle with me, I can sometimes figure out the word of the day faster because I use his first two answers as clues. He uses the same two first words every time and I like the little hint.
So when I read in The Artist’s Way that week four was a no media week (no social media, no books, no TV, etc), I was already dreaming up all the ways I was going to cheat.
“I’m definitely watching One Piece. I’m going to read my book by the pool. I deleted social media and that’s probably the real problem. This dumb author is lucky I’m even considering this week at all because it sounds like dumb torture.”
All the silly little things I told myself so I could calm down the part of me that was screaming, “THIS IS A TERRIBLE IDEA!”
Much to my surprise, I made it an entire five days without cheating. I sat in silence with myself and my thoughts for five days straight.
If you’re not understanding the depth of that, let me paint a little picture for you:
Imagine sitting in a room with a bunch of people. Those people are every thought you’ve ever had, but ignored. Suddenly, you decide to listen to those people all at the same time. Now, they are all yelling and telling you everything they’ve ever been mad about and all you can do is sit and listen. You can’t turn them off. You can’t distract yourself from them by walking into another room. It’s you and all these people who are angry for everything and nothing all at the same time.
By the end of day one I was absolutely sick of myself. I didn’t want to spend another minute with my brain and the outpouring of grumpy thoughts. Six more days with these whiny assholes sounded like a real bad time.
To make a long story short, because don’t worry I have another post to break down the gruesome details of my mob of angry thoughts, I cheated on day five.
I cheated and I don’t even feel a little bad about it, naturally as a cheater would say. (Actually, a cheater probably wouldn’t say that, but at least I’m a self aware cheater.)
Really the only reason I’m writing this little post now is because it’s one of the rules. If you cheat, you have to write about why.
I did the crime, I had a great time doing the crime, and now I happily accept my punishment.
No, I didn’t cheat on no media week by watching a few episodes of One Piece on my Friday night because I was throwing a tantrum. It wasn’t because I couldn’t handle the pressures of my mind. It certainly wasn’t because I couldn’t think of anything else to do. (My best friend and I made a no media week activity list, but more on that in another post).
It was a celebration!!!!
I wanted a little treat and god damn it, I deserved it.
I sat with myself and my thoughts for so many hours and days that I went through the entire rollercoaster of completely hating myself and my life to falling in love with every aspect of who I am.
I had breakthroughs in those five days that I have been waiting an entire fucking year to have.
So, when I got to the end of day five with more clarity in my mind and body than I’ve had in months, I decided I needed a reward.
I watched a couple of episodes of my favorite show. Scratch that, of the greatest fucking show of all time and I don’t feel bad about it, not even a little bit.
I’ll finish off days six and seven in my silence. I’ll stay away from books, television, and social media once again.
But my oh my, did watching those episodes feel so rewarding.
I never thought I’d say I’m a cheater and proud, but damn I’m proud of myself for this week and I cheated.
Certified Life and Business Coach and
Co-Founder of Living Adventures Retreats
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