So. I get cranky when I don’t get a walk in the morning. Yes, that would be today.
If Selma and I remember to make the bed (a thing we got from Gretchen), everything about the rest of the day is better. Even though that makes no sense.
If someone says “really, there’s no sugar in here”, it’s good to smile, say thank you and DON’T try it. Because if there is sugar or honey or agave or something (and usually there is),
my head will explode the next nine hours are shot to hell. It’s so not worth it.
Information for the big book of me.
What goes into the Book of You:
Anything that’s useful.
All that stuff you think you’ll remember but actually you don’t.
A working hypothesis you’re currently testing (“Is it true that I feel better when I go to bed before ten or is that only true when I’m over-worked?”).
Or an aspect of yourself or your life that’s currently under investigation (“What do I know so far about what happens to me when I’m in a crowded space?”).
Why it’s helpful to have a Book of You:
It’s kind of like the dammit list.
It reminds you that you are in the process of working on your stuff. And it shows you how much you’ve already implemented.
It helps you keep that experimental scientific outlook.
It’s a mindfulness practice that isn’t annoying.
And it helps you come up with better red velvet ropes, and track your mini-epiphanies.
Some useful guiding principles for the Book of You.
That’s why it’s the Book of You and not the Book of Humanity In General That Is Also Known As The Book of All Things For All People At All Time.
All the biggified people on the internet shouting about how you have to write in the morning and you can’t have more than three projects and how you always have to do X to get Y?
They’re not talking about you. They’re talking about themselves. They are sharing some of the information from that big Book of Them.
In fact, lots of things vary.
Just because something is true for you right now doesn’t mean it’s always going to be true for you.
The Book of You isn’t about absolutes. It’s about taking various factors into consideration, and figuring out what you can extrapolate from what you know. And then testing.
How you might set up the Book of You:
Some of my clients and students like to have a pretty book to give it some formality. Some of them like a messy one with lots of scribblings to remember that it’s a work in progress.
Some of them keep a binder so they can tuck pages in and take pages out.
See what works for you. You can always start a new one. I mean, it’s your book.
Personally, I like to keep one item to a page.
That way I can add notes and exceptions. And questions.
For example, I have a page that says something like this:
“Sweetie, you are so much happier when you get a morning walk. The entire day goes better. This has been tested. Seriously. Just do it.”
But then I’ve added all sorts of things to this page. Like this:
“Okay, but what if it’s pouring rain in the morning because you live in stupid Portland? Does it help if you sit on the porch swing and watch the rain, so you’re at least outside?
Or is it better to do some bouncing to at least get that aerobic effect thing? Or is it better to just pull on rain pants and go jump in puddles for a couple minutes? I mean, what are the aspects of the morning walk that are most vital here?”
And then I experiment. And take more notes. In the big Book of Me.
And a couple other things to keep in mind.
Does eating mango always make my arms itch? What exactly is it about Dance of Shiva that clears my head? What happens if I reverse those steps? What happens if I bring in Metaphor Mouse?
Something I try to remember: part of destuckifying is having a conscious relationship with yourself, so you can bring more awareness to your patterns (detective-style).
And no, you’re not arrogant or self-absorbed if you make a commitment to learning stuff about yourself and taking notes.
That’s it. Play with me!
You don’t have to know anything about what goes in the Book of You to start.
Most people start by just taking some notes. Whatever comes into your head.
Then you see what it’s like to go through your day as if researching the Book of You was your job.
You see what’s surprising. And what isn’t.
Comment zen for today.
We all have our stuff. We’re all working on our stuff.
So. If you want to throw out anything you’re working on, noticing, observing, messing around with, that’s lovely.
If you’ve been working with this Book of You thing (or want to), yay!
You can also throw out general suggestions based on stuff that works for you — as always, we try to keep it to personal experience instead of advice.
Big love to everyone (and Jessica Rabbit kisses to the Beloved Lurkers).
I just found your site today, after you (or your helpful assistant?) added me on Twitter. Not sure what led to that but I was at first quite flattered, but then really intrigued and excited by your work. But reading through a bunch of your posts has made me feel a tiny bit envious that I’m not one of those Right People that knows what their Big Thing is. I wish I did. I wish I had a Big Thing that I could embiggen, but right now I’m searching. And it’s inspirational to know that there are amazing, body-mind integrative things to try that I’ve never even heard of before. I can’t go into the weird long personal story of why the connection between writing, Shiva Nata, and roller derby is blowing my mind, but just so you know, it is. I’m still thinking about it. It’s one of those things that makes me want to cry and laugh and keep exploring down that rabbit hole until I figure it out.
Anyway, I don’t know what my Big Thing is, but after hopscotching around I’m thinking that this post is an excellent place to start. I want to start a Book of Me, and that will help me figure it out. Maybe my Big Thing will be a revelation about how all my little bits fit together? I just hope it will lead me somewhere.
Thanks for this.
.-= Jesse´s last post … persnicket- -jrewing That sheet of Lindsays handwriting is oddly compelling Definitely reveals a hidden- neater side of her =-.
Oohhh I love the book of you. I do this, I guess, have always done it, but I think from now on all my notebooks need to be labelled this way .. The book of me!
My blog is kinda an out loud version of the book of me and your blog is kinda like the out loud version of my imaginary, perfectly human and wonderful best friend ever! I have been reading your posts whenever I get that omg-Im-writing-out-loud-in-public fear wash over me and I can always count on something in the fluent self to pluck me out of that sea and pop me back on dry land where I am safe. Look at this, Im doing the metaphor thing in deference to your awesome way of expressing yourself, Im THAT enthralled by everything you are writing.
So Sweet. So Wise. 🙂
Lately, I’ve been playing with The Brain, a mind-mapping software thingie. Fun! Deep… Cool 🙂
Kind of like playing with the ideas that might go into my Book of Me…………………….
I’ve known about this for a while, but just this morning started (in a google doc, because, well, I’m a geek like that). How lovely! Surprisingly comforting and effective, and all kinds of fun.
I was so excited by this idea that I started a Book of Me before I even finished reading this page! See how nonstuck (is that correct usage?) I can be when I’m excited about something and not afraid of any aspect of it?
Very happy to have stumbled upon you today : )
I came across this post months ago and hesitated with starting a Book of Me. I didn’t think I had much to write about myself. I finally wrote down one thing last night. The next thing I knew I had pages filled and was firmly telling myself to go to bed. (Remember sweetie, sleep is necessary to feel like a functional being. At least 7 hours is required, although 9 is best.)
Just stopping by to let you know how much this has helped me in my journey to healing from fibromyalgia. So much so that I’ve used it in a blog post today telling others. I’m sure you’ll get the trackback. =)
Thanks for your awesomeness! <3
This is perfect and so helpful, especially now because I’m desticking so many things in my life and it is quite painful and your site always helps when it hurts too much. It’s my salve. I love you for that! Thank you!