Right after Burning Man, I completely lost my shit.
It’s totally OK to lose your shit.
Losing your shit is necessary. Losing one’s respective shit is a perfect place to be in. Losing your shit means you’ve stopped struggling. To lose one shit requires we let go. We break down. We stop swimming upstream. Let go of the dinghy. Float in the ocean and get swept downstream. Release. And then, from that space, we can rebuild.
Tools to manage anxiety, depression, fear and panic are meant to be used. When I’m not in a constant state of anxiety, I find myself not using my tools. I put them on the shelf. I imagine I no longer need them. I’m all set. I am fixed. I don’t need no tools – I’m all set! Eeeeeeeh. Nope. Wrong. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.
Tools need to be used and sharpened. We need to keep them at hand and USE THEM. Our tools are not “in case of emergency, break glass” kinds of tools. Breathing exercises, grounding practices, and movement therapies are not axes or fire extinguishers.
These lifeline mind-body-spirit tools are coffee mugs, eye glasses and winter coats. Our breath is as essential as our toothbrush. Use it every day. Use it twice a day. Add some floss and some mouthwash to the daily ritual. Use tools as needed and often. Make a ritual space around using them.
Do you practice your yoga for 5 mins in the morning before you brush your teeth? Maybe you do 3 deep inhales before you step into the shower? Or perhaps you say a quick prayer of gratitude before you eat your breakfast? USE THE TOOLS. Use them often. Sharpen them daily. Then, when you lose your shit, you have your well sharpened tools to use. They are right in your pocket, ready, willing and able.
When the temperature in the desert drops to 38 degrees, you have your winter coat to put on. When your eyes are dry from the playa dust, you can use your eye drops. When you completely lose your shit on the bathroom floor of the hotel room, you can grab your necklace, burn some sage, and inhale lavender and pine essential oils.
It is only through losing our respective shit that we find deep spaces of practice to use our tools. We find new tools we did not know we needed – like binaural beats – and hugging the floor.
Alexi Murdoch – Breathe
“So don’t forget to breathe
Don’t forget to breathe
Your whole life is here
No eleventh hour reprieve
So don’t forget to breathe
Keep your head above water
But don’t forget to breathe”