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Alexander Castrodale Writes About 93 Days and Falling

Alexander Castrodale Writes About 93 Days and Falling

I was one of the guinea pigs at the Berkeley retreat with Anne and Pam. I tend to just show up at these kinds of things. I have been to a number of retreats over the years and have been on this personal growth path for longer than I want to admit.  

I’m 32. I was the youngest one there by at least 10 years. You might think that’s wonderful. I did not. It pissed me off. And I was pissed at all of them for it. How could they be that much older and not have their shit together? I wanted to grab them all by the neck and tell them how fucking amazing they were. Because they were. It was so obvious to me. Isn’t it funny how easy it is to see the good in others and not see it in ourselves? What I realize now is that I was projecting how I felt about myself onto them. Like I said, I feel like I’ve been on this “personal growth” path for a while. I used to wear that as a badge of honor. Now, it makes me want to throw up. It’s been an 8 year journey, but it has only been the last 3 years I’ve been in reunion and came out of the fog. Yeah…THAT fog. Fuck.  

What I found in Berkeley sitting behind all this new found anger wasn’t that I wanted to wring anyone’s neck or put the coffee table through the window. It was that I gave a shit. 

I give it shit about myself and this life I’ve been so desperately trying to live all these years. 

If that resonates with you in any way whatsoever I think you’re in the right place. 

I’d like to say I left Berkeley and went out and conquered the world. It was a truly transformative experience, but that’s not quite what happened. Life didn’t stop while I was gone and there is still plenty of work to do. Change is hard. See, all these retreats, support groups, and therapists are all extremely helpful, but what really matters is what happens when you walk out that door and step back into your “real” life? For me, some days are better than others.  

Here was my brain at 5:30pm last Friday. I was going somewhere at 7pm…

I need to eat.

Yeah, but it’s a bit too early to eat.

What else do I need to do?

I could workout.

Yeah, but you don’t have that much time and you still need to eat.

Check Facebook, Instagram, and email for the 99th time today.

I could work on that thing for Anne’s blog.

Yeah, but you don’t have that much time, you have no idea what you want to say, and you still need to eat.

It’s still too early to eat.

Hey, it’s really nice out.

Check Facebook, Instagram, and email for the 100th time.

What about working on that project for school you’re so stoked about?

Yeah, but you don’t have that much time and you still need to eat.

It’s still too early to eat.

Check Facebook, Instagram, and email for the 101st time.

Seriously, it’s really nice out. 

There’s probably something I need to do around the house.

Yeah, but you don’t have that much time and you still need to eat. 

It’s still too early to eat.

Sunny.  Warm.  Outside!

Check Facebook, Instagram, and email for the 102nd time.

God, I’m wasting so much time.

It’s still too early to eat. 

Check Facebook, Instagram, and email for the 103rd time.

There has to be something REALLY REALLY important I NEED to do.

Check Facebook, Instagram, and email for the 104th time.

God, it’s so fucking nice out.  I really just want to go for a walk and be outside.

Yeah, but dude, you NEED to do something more productive.  

There has to be something around here I NEED to do before I can eat.

Check Facebook, Instagram and email for the 105th time. 

I’m going outside.

Nope, now you need to eat.

Fuck.

Check Facebook, Instagram, and email for the 106th time.

Sometime around 6:30pm I start eating.

I don’t have much time to eat.  I should have started earlier.

Check Facebook, Instagram, and email for the 107th time.

Time to go.

Wow, it really is nice out.

Shit, now I’m running late. 

Obviously, I’m a bit of a perfectionist. I may be afraid of success more than I am afraid of failure. This turns into not knowing what to do with myself half the time. This is the crap I’m sick and tired of.  

It’s the same energy from Berkeley. I give a shit and it’s time to do something about it. It’s like I’ve been trapped my whole life and never even knew it. Now I want to break free. It’s time to take responsibility for my own life. Responsibility is a big word I don’t think I have ever fully understood. I once heard that taking responsibility for one’s life is truly accepting the fact that NO ONE IS COMING. I think I understand now. I have to make the choice to be a participant in my own life. I can get help and support like anything else, but ultimately I have to do the work and decide for myself how it’s all going to go down. 

The funny thing about all this is I still need to figure out what exactly I’m using this 93 days for.  My goal is to be indestructible. Mind and body. I believe I already am and so are you. We’re just too afraid to show it. How exactly I will go about it I haven’t fully articulated. I have a million things written down so right now the plan is action. DO SOMETHING. Keep it simple and commit.

My first step is writing this and putting myself out there. I’m terrified, but publicly stating I’m going to do something is the first step in taking responsibility for myself. I have to follow through now.  

The last thing I want to talk about is falling down. As much as I hate it, I may need to stumble my way through this 93 days and find a 100 ways to fail before I find the way that works for me. This is where I struggle. The fear comes and I don’t even try. A wise man (his name was Robert) once taught me humility IS NOT humiliation. At its most basic level, humility is an honest assessment of where you’re at. No judgment. If you can’t run a 10 minute mile, you can’t run a 10 minute mile, that’s it. It’s not, you can’t run a 10 minute mile and god you’re such a loser. No, that’s bullshit.  When we fail or fall we’ve simply found another way that doesn’t work at any particular moment.  That’s called progress.  

Think of a baby learning to walk. How do they do it? They fail over and over again. They learn to move their heads, roll over, rock back and forth, fall flat on their face. It’s really an amazing progression. Oh, and they cry because sometimes it hurts. However, they aren’t crying because they think they are bad babies. They cry because they are 100% in touch with their feelings. “Oh, that hurt.” Cry. “Ok, I’m better. Now where was I? Let’s try that again.” Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.  Then one day they walk. Happiness. Even then they’re still totally clumsy, but they keep going.  No judgment and just totally owning their existence.  

There’s one more thing. Have you ever noticed when a baby first starts to walk and they tip over?  What happens? There’s that split second where you think they're toast. Then…plop. Right to their butt. Perfect dismount with a smile. All is good. They literally learn to fall. So don’t be afraid to fall (or fail). You already know how to catch yourself.   

This becomes the mantra learn to fail or fail to learn. If I can master this, I can do anything. This is where I need gentleness (catching myself) as my perfectionism kicks in and I get stuck in fear.  I am my own worst critic. Therefore, a big goal for me these next few months is to be kinder to myself. I want to be someone I would want to hang out with. 

I’ve reached this point and I’m not sure if this is an invitation to join the party (I hope you come) as much as it’s a kick in the ass for myself. I have no idea if I’ve made any sense. If I’ve offended you in any way, good. It means you give a shit about yourself. Try starting there.  You’re worth it. 

We don’t need to apologize for who we are or how we feel.  If anyone asks, we’re on a mission.

I look forward to making a mess with you the next 93 days.  We’ll clean up later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 1 - Balance, Breath, and Yoga Nidra

Day 1 - Balance, Breath, and Yoga Nidra

The Unofficial Official 93-Day Intake Form for Adoptees and People Who Needed Better Mirroring

The Unofficial Official 93-Day Intake Form for Adoptees and People Who Needed Better Mirroring