Surprisingly Simple Way to Turn a Shitty Day into a Good Day
It was going to be a perfect day.
I woke up early, practiced yoga, meditated, had a superfood breakfast: egg on avocado toast and mango spinach smoothie.
As I sipped my bullet-proof coffee, I listened to a podcast episode to inhale more inspiration. I ironed a sleek outfit, made up, and walked towards my home office like a champion.
It was going to be a perfect day.
I would kick ass, change the world, set my business up for success, make stuff happen!
Oh, it was great. Except it lasted for 15 minutes.
My throat ached, my brain went mushy, and my head felt as if it got hammered by Thor.
I realized what happened: I drunk more coffee than I was supposed to. Which made my sensitive nervous system crashed like Fast & Furious 3.
I shut my eyes. I opened my eyes. I blinked several times. I must lie down…
I crawled into my bedroom - the same place that 30 minutes before I'd prepared for an epic day - and collapsed on the sheets.
I petted my cat Sesame on her forehead. She opened her sleepy eyes, lifted her butt, and move further away. Oh whatever...
Lying on my belly, I could hear the buzz in my head. Heart pounding. I didn't know how long it’d be until the crash stopped.
“You useless. You know you’re sensitive to caffeine, why the *bleep* did you overdose? Why did you even drink it? Next time stick your stupid ass with green tea!” - I heard that voice inside me.
Those thoughts - whom I called "the stepmother" - used to drive me into misery.
Now I learned to notice them, acknowledge them, and at the same time, not let them make me finish half a pint of ice cream, then hide under the blanket for the rest of the day while marinating myself in shame sauce.
I felt a sharp, heavy disappointment, burning anger, a watery sinking sadness. I breathed. I softened my muscles.
After a few minutes, the emotions dissolved one by one. The caffeine crash lessened. I could feel my throat relaxed, and my heartbeat slowed down, and Thor went back to Asgard.
I was okay. But my spirit was low.
I thought of an exercise I heard on the podcast this morning: practice gratitude - with a small twist.
Instead of saying the classic "I’m grateful for..." - which may be difficult if you are knee-deep in crap river - you simply remind yourself of What's Not Wrong in your life.
It helps to use the phrase
“Although X happens, I still have Y…”
So I began:
- Although I have a coffee crash, I still have the bed to lie down until the crash is over.
The instant I said it, I felt a spaciousness opened around me. Like the air could flow in the around the crammed little space of my ego-melodrama.
I turned my head to look at Sesame.
- Although my cat has ringworm, I still have a cat.
- Although my bathroom is messy, I still have a bathroom.
- Although a friend has distanced herself from me, I still have our good memories.
- Although my plan is ruined, I still have the freedom to change it.
- Although my head is aching, I still have a head.
- Although my bedside table is crammed with stuff: a wrinkled shawl, a headphone, a lamp, a perfume bottle, a breath freshener, a wooden box that doesn’t have a clear function. I still have all those things!
I really have so much.
I am really outrageously privileged. I am really blessed.
I turned over to face the white curtain of my bedroom. How it lidded up in sunlight. I noticed tiny particles floating in the air. Noticed the quiet of my apartment.
That moment was perfect.
With a caffeine crash, and the ruined plan, and the messy bedside table, and a cat with ringworm purring at my feet. Perfection.
And perhaps - this is my hypothesis - that the coffee crash didn’t happen to me, it happened for me.
So I could learn the power of gratitude.
So I could see perfection in chaos.
Fall back into love with my life and practice self-compassion when I need it most: in time of failing.