The other day I was at an online industry event. I do attend from time to time to these events because it’s fun, you get to meet new people and sometimes you get a chance to see old friends. Oh, and also because I’m invited :-). The event was interesting and smooth and, after a short networking session, I was ready to leave. The location was somewhere in the old downtown, in a nice (and also huge) house, surrounded by narrow streets. So narrow that you could barely park two cars on both sides of the street and still leave some space for the third to pass trough.
As I was walking toward my car, parked on one of those sides, of course, I saw some orange flashing lights. Another car, apparently a bigger one, was completely blocking my car. As I approached, I realized that the car was made from complicated structures, pipes and curved reservoirs. On top of it it was indeed an orange flashing light, like the one that you see on oversized convoys. A huge hose was getting out from the rear, coming towards me and then suddenly stopping at the half of the street, like it was eaten by the ground. After a few more steps I realized it was eaten by the ground. Or to be more specific, it was entering a sewage hole.
It took me only 2 seconds to realize that they had to clean up the shit from some of the underground sewage system. And then I realized that the curved reservoir of that huge car was actually filled with smelly, brown and liquid human residual matter. I couldn’t smell it, of course, but I also couldn’t but notice how dangerously close to my car it was. I asked one of the workers how long it will take. “Well, we already finished the cleaning, we’re just pulling out the hose. 5 minutes, top”. 5 minutes couldn’t be that long, I thought. But the proximity of the reservoir was giving me the chills. A few other event attendees appeared on the street. They couldn’t pass either. We sat together, strangely aware of the big shit reservoir near us, until the workers pulled the house. A few more shouts and they were gone.
As I was entering my car, I experienced a strange feeling of relief. The road was clear. The pipes were unclogged. I could move again.
The Poop Is Real
We’re always facing these situations, but seldom as clearly as the one I experienced. As I drove home I started to understand the importance of our own psychological sewage system. The importance of our internal exhausting pipes. We do have those residual matters floating inside us somehow, until they block something. And we can’t always call for a big car with a dark hose to clean up our internal pipes. We just acknowledge a little bit of resistance, a little bit of difficulty and, maybe, we try to use another way. For instance, if I wouldn’t come by car at that event, I would most likely try to just use another street and head for the subway. This is how we circumvent our own psychological shit: we’re just picking another road, leaving the clogged pipe rotten full.
And most of the time we’re fine. Our internal sewage system is so cleverly designed that we can find new ways of doing things almost all the time. We recover after losing a job. We get back on our feet after an abusive relationship. We’re making it, somehow. But there are times when we are overloaded. When we have no other way of doing things other than cleaning the pipe. We cannot advance. We’re stuck and we have to do something.
Cleaning shit is not a nice job. Cleaning our internal, psychological shit is particularly difficult. Because we tend to think that we’re functioning without any residual matter. Which is entirely false. Everything we do has a little bit of leftover, some parts which are not processed and will never be. Those parts we need to get rid of.
As I was driving home I tried to imagine a different scenario. What if the car reservoir couldn’t cope with the pressure? The whole shit would have spread over my car, over me and over the other people on the street. Or, if the underground pipe would crack, the whole street would have been covered in poop. Brown, liquid, smelling poop. Fortunately, my little encounter was a happy one. No one was covered in shit.
But our internal sewage system doesn’t work like this. Sometimes the poop explodes. Things that were accumulated for years will eventually find a weak point in your pipes and will explode. And then, just like in my alternative scenario, everybody will be covered in shit. I’m sure you’ve been there. You explode all of a sudden, saying or doing things you wish you wouldn’t. And, at the end of the explosion, everything is so smelly, that you can’t stand it anymore.
How To Unclog Your Pipes
Repressed feelings, anger, sadness, pessimism, all of these are residual substances generated by our day to day activity as human beings. We carry them deep within our emotional body and we’re gradually filling our pipes with them. Until, some day, we wish we have had them cleaned before they exploded. The good news is that we can prevent this from happening. Even if we’re facing some tough times, we can get through. As long as we’re accepting the fact that our pipes are clogged and we have to take action.
I’ve been there too. And not only once. Sometimes the shit exploded, some times not. Over the years I started to learn how to manage this process. Here are seven simple techniques I use in order to take care of my clogged pipes.
1. Write What You Cannot Say
Write a letter to the one who hurt you, but don’t send it. Burry it or just tear it down. But do write everything you wish you’d say to that person. You’ve been hurt and the consequences of that fact are real. Don’t try to hide them. Be as clear as you can. Just don’t engage in a real interaction with that person. Sometimes, this process alone is enough to clear the residual matter of that hurtful encounter. You cannot change the past anyway, nor can you turn things back the way they were. You can only heal yourself. The hurt will never be reversed. But you can be healed.
2. Recycle Aggression
Try to get involved in some very demanding activities. Some people are diving into work after a traumatic event. As long as they aren’t trying to fool themselves that they’re invulnerable, I think this is a good thing. Re-chanelling that aggression into some constant and fulfilling activity is way better than letting it grow inside, chaotically, until the whole system will be blocked. Accept that fact that you’re aggressive and that aggression is a normal reaction, but redirect it to a different context. Take up on some difficult projects. Finish them with glory and then just feel better.
3. Clean Up Your Lenses
You can’t always get it from the first time. You can’t get that promotion, that partner or that trip to India. You have to adjust, to adapt, to find new ways. This is very much like focusing your camera while trying to make a beautiful picture. You rotate the lenses back and forth, going through fuzzy and unclear phases, until you finally reach that crystal clear image you always wanted. If you accept this back and forth process of gradually approaching your goals, then all your failures will become acceptable. They will be part of a managed process. They won’t produce shit anymore.
4. Clean Up Your House
What’s on the outside is a mirror of what’s on the inside. Have you looked at your house lately? At the interior of your car? At your room? If it’s a place you wish you wouldn’t live in, then chances are that your internal pipes are clogged just as well. It’s just a matter of time until they’ll explode and then you’ll cover in shit everyone who’d happen to be around. And you wouldn’t even know why you did it. Well, if your surroundings are neat and clean, throwing psychological shit at others will become much less probable. Because you won’t have any shit anymore. You process it with every house cleaning session.
Physical exercise, just like the technique above, will act like a mirror to your emotional body. The more you use it, the more fit it will become. Many times our emotional turmoils are just blocked within our physical body. They are finding a place in our organs and they stay there. Until you take action and help those parts of your body to properly communicate. Not to mention that physical exercise is in itself a great way of freeing yourself from frustration. If you don’t believe me, just try to do a kyokushin session with a sparring partner.
6. Get A Massage
That’s also close to the one above, only it requires another partner. Preferably one who really know what she’s doing. A professional masseuse (or masseur, for what matters) can make miracles with your body. And since your physical body is a container for your emotional body, that one will benefit too. One side advantage of getting constant professional massage is that your energy channels will gradually open. And, unless you’re living a really stressful life, they’ll remain open. On an open system, everything will flow smoother. It will be more and more difficult to accumulate residual matter.
7. Talk To Somebody
That’s the equivalent of the huge car with black hoses. You call somebody over. It’s the technique in which you are actually spitting out everything that bothers you. You throw away all what you accumulated. The listener can be a friend, a shrink or just a stranger. The last one being the most adventurous way of doing this, of course. But the mere fact of acknowledging that you have unprocessed stuff in your system and that you are willing to letting it out, well, that will start a much deeper process, in which the entire system will start to rearrange itself in a much more effective way.
The image of a life surrounded by horrendously bad smelling shit is not the nicest image you can paint on a blog post. But I did this on purpose. Because this is exactly what you get if you’re not unclogging your pipes. You may get used to the smell and start to ignore it after a while. But the poop will be there. And it will eventually overcome you. Drawn in your own shit.
How does it feel to read something like this? Bad? Really bad? You wish you didn’t start reading this in the first place?
Good. Because if this is how it feels to read this, imagine how it would be to actually experience it.
Go unclog your pipes before the shit will explode.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.