I love the story of the monk who walks in a bar… no, just kidding. He is just sitting there, being interviewed. “It is like I have two dogs who fight inside me,” he says when asked about his inner life, “one that is calm, and represents peace and connection and love. And then this other one, who is aggressive and resentful and jealous.” “And who wins the fight?” asks the guy interviewing him. The monk, looking wise, is quiet for a moment. Then he smiles and says “clearly, the one I feed most.”
I dig that. I have two dogs in me too. Call them Rover and Buddy. The best of me, Buddy, is kind and elevated and healthy and smart and a bunch of really cool attributes. The other dog in me, Rover, not so much. More like greedy and petty, self destructive and manipulative. I’ve always liked the visual of these two dogs fighting and the good one kicking the ass of the mean one. But it does not always work that way. Sometimes, I can’t seem to find the high road. Sometimes I don’t even care whether there is a high road.
Sometimes, I am nurturing to myself. Sometimes, I burn myself down to a crisp.
If I don’t sleep enough, if I watch too much TV, if I don’t eat clean foods or drink enough water, that is when I feed Rover more than Buddy. If I spend time with people that suck my energy dry, if I procrastinate or don’t keep my commitments, and if I don’t get myself in to sweat at Shape House, I let Rover win the darn fight.
But the second I catch myself (and the work IS to shorten the time it takes to catch myself) I look for ways to feed Buddy. For me, it often starts with a sweat. Easy. I own the joint. If I am able to walk (sometimes crawl) into a sweat, I am able to reverse the engine and feed the good force of my nature. After my sweat, I usually want a clean, light meal. I am usually well hydrated from the alkaline water. I usually sleep deeply that night, so I don’t feel pulled towards caffeine or sugars the next day. So my nervous system is calmer. The sweat boosts my endorphins, so my morale is sunnier. It has detoxed my body and rebooted my brain so I feel mentally and emotionally relaxed. And I usually (even from ONE sweat) feel a bit lighter in my body. And people comment on my skin and how glowing I look.
Well, often, that is enough for Buddy to take back the control of my inner ship. It gently redirects my focus towards the better habits in me. Towards treating myself well. Towards treating myself kindly.
I like this idea that I influence the deck. That I can rig the game. That the doggie that gets the most chow gets to TKO the other one.
I like the idea that I am the one who makes that choice.
It makes me feel in control. In a good way.
All right I gotta go. I have a sweat in 10 minutes. Woof Woof.