Updated: Mar 17, 2021
I know that I'm a pretty positive person, but something I'd like to talk about today is that it's Ok not to be Ok. This post was inspired by the song by Marshmello and Demi Lovato.
COVID, job loss, relationship issues, loneliness--we've all been going through it lately. And if you haven't, you're in the minority. Being a drag queen, it's been tough going from performing almost every week to only getting gussied up once a month (if that). BUT remember, life never gives us more than we can handle.
It can help to look at our struggles as invitations. All of this time without an audience has pushed me to investigate other ways to reach out. I finally bit the bullet and started on TikTok toward the beginning of quarantine, and it ended up being the platform where I've gotten the most traction (44K followers and counting). I started my podcast Candi Culture and this here website you're visiting--all because I was no longer running around with 'better' things to do.
Now, does that mean I don't get frustrated? HELL NO! I NEVER GET FRUSTRATED! I AM THE QUEEN OF POSITIVITY!!!!! Kidding. Kind of. Ever listen to that song by Fiona Apple, Extraordinary Machine? In it, she says, "Be kind to me, or treat me mean. I'll make the most of it. I'm an extraordinary machine." And that's kind of how I operate, like Princess Bubblegum, I do my best to absorb the world around me but to filter it like a Brita pitcher. Is that what Princess Bubblegum does? Mmm.. She's actually more of a levelheaded scientist / sentient goo person. Am I that too? Nope. I don't know shiz about science.
So anyway, all this to say, even though I am Princess Positivity, stuff has definitely gotten me down, and recently I've found myself in a kind of limbo--not sure where my life is going to lead, specifically once the summer gets here. I don't know where I'm going to live or how I'm going to support myself. YIKES!
But I figure I have two options: I can get really stressed out and worry myself into a trembling mass, eating my feelings and shutting myself off to folks.. OR I can roll with it. Feeling good is a choice, and it is available to us at any moment, even in the midst of our fear and uncertainty. Pain is inevitable, but suffering is something we do to ourselves (Oh I've done it too). So if you're feeling like 10 pounds of poo in a 5 pound bag, halt the thoughts long enough to ask yourself, "What can I be grateful for in this moment?" It doesn't have to be anything big. Let's see.. What would I be grateful for? Working limbs, those are nice. I'm a good friend, and that makes me feel proud.
Sometimes I'll get stuck on all the things I'm not. I'm not a trained dancer, for instance. But, when that thought appears, I can respond with "But I do have rhythm, and I love dancing". It's almost like the negative thoughts are little bottles of poison, and it's our job as conscious creators of our experience to counteract them with the antidote.
Other ways to find the silver lining and escape the prison our minds can become:
Journaling -- I recommend at least 3 pages of longhand, unedited (often illegible) writing in a non-precious notebook. The first two pages can feel like a slog, but, by the time I get to page 3, I feel like I'm communicating with my higher power. I got started writing for my mental health years ago via a wonderful book called The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.
Yoga -- I love all kinds of exercise, but yoga is a kind of white magick that can calm the mind and get you back into your body, no matter what fitness level you are at. And you don't need a fancy studio. There are tons of videos available on YouTube. I really love Travis Eliot.
Jamming Out -- Sometimes you just need to turn on some music really loud, whether it be in your car or your bedroom. Silence can be deafening, so listen to a song that either allows you to feel your feelings or reach for higher vibrating ones. Sometimes I'll just go on Spotify and look under the Home button for new uplifting playlists so I'm taking in new tunes and not simply reliving old memories.
Seek Out Inspiration -- I'm a big self-help nerd. I love books and audio books and podcasts. If you've never used Audible before, there's a 30 day trial, and your first book is free! Again YouTube has lots of great talks and meditations by consciousness influencers such as Eckart Tolle, Abraham Hicks and Pema Chödrön.
Finally, one of the best ways to deal with feeling crappy I've found, is to try to lend a hand to someone else. Actually, that's what I'm doing right now--taking my not-so-great emotions and channeling them into this blog post in the hopes that perhaps someone's day will be brightened. And you know what? I feel better!
Love you guys. Keep reaching for that next good thought, and I promise your reality will follow.