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.

All this?

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.

People vary.

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:

That depends.

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.

Test things.

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).

The Fluent Self