Frog-Eating and You: "Trying" to Eat the Frog

"No! No try. Do. Or do not. There is no 'try.'"
--Yoda, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

a very good and funky friend of mine texted me tonight with a very alarming lament: her mother has lost her Funk and was spiraling into depression. this concerned me, because i've met her mother and think she's a totally delightful and wonderfully wacky, sparkling woman. i love her to death. so for such a spectacularly funky woman to be caught in the grips of the anti-Funk was dismaying.

of course, being a follower of the Night Mother and long-time servant of the Goddesses of War, Death, and Destruction, i also understand that the anti-Funk is just another one of their tools used for pruning away the excess. it's a little death we suffer, so that we need not suffer the agony of one great, big death at the end.

so, really, nothing's "good" or "bad," even the anti-Funk. our opinions and perspectives assign "good" and "bad."

but there was still the issue of my friend's mother being depressed. i don't like hearing that, and so i offered help in the best way i knew how: Conquering the anti-Funk by Working With It. my friend said to me her mother was fighting her depression, and fighting hard.

Sir Isaac Newton stated that, "for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction."

so it only stands to reason that the harder she was fighting, the harder the depression was clinging. when a frog pushes down and back with its legs, the frog flies forward and up into the air. it's called "hopping," and frogs do it really well. but for every action (pushing down and back with its legs), there is an equal and opposite reaction (the frog flies forward and up). the harder the frog pushes, the farther it hops.

so my first piece of advice was: "stop fighting."

so here's the first frog:

what bad habit or negative thought/belief is biting you in the ass? if you're constantly strapped for cash and every time you think of bills you get the sensation of having swallowed a rock that's just sinking your gut, maybe your bad habit is a lack of self-control in spending money. or, if you have great spending habits but are always broke...maybe your negative belief is how you view money altogether: you have an "always broke" mentality, a vision of yourself as always being poor, always barely making ends meet. so your thoughts are projecting into your future, and your thoughts are dictating your actions, which then manifest your broke situationa. you say to yourself, "high-paying jobs are hard to find" and then, having made your own broke-colored glasses, you go out into the world and see exactly that: high-paying jobs are hard to find.

et cetera.

so...you gotta find the frog. this one's a teenie li'l bugger. he's been hiding in some tiny little corner of your life, of your brain, and you've been listening to his teenie little chirps and ribbits for so long you don't even hear it anymore. you take him for granted. so you don't know where he lives, or what he looks like.

the good news is that he leaves signs. look for spoor. look for chewed-on food wrappers and holes chewed into cereal boxes. look in places where a frog would love to live and be comfortable. look hard. if your problem is disorganization, is it because you're procrastinating or absent-minded, or something else? what would solve the problem?

listen to the excuses you make to yourself.

in fact, make a list of them. write them out so you can see them with your own eyeballs. those excuses, good as they may seem to you, are the ribbits the frog is making from his hidden little corner, the sneaky bastard.

why do those excuses seem justified? you know they're not true because your life is a mess in that particular area...so why are you holding onto those excuses and believing them? they're not serving you, obviously.

what are the priorities in your life, that this aspect of your life has been tabled to the point where it's disrupting your life and causing you problems? now, a word of caution: answering this question is likely to uncover an entire army* of frogs.

frogs such as selfishness, insecurity, lying to oneself, addiction (and addiction can come in many forms, from substance abuse to the perpetuation of bad relationships), not having your needs met, etc. you might lift up a rock and an entire army of frogs of all colors and sizes just might start hopping everywhere and totally freak you out. it's happened before. so by all means, be careful answering this question, but for your own sake...answer it.

i suggested to my friend her mother stop fighting her depression and anti-Funk, and work with them. in ninjitsu, jujitsu, tai-chi, and many other combat arts, the idea is to utilize your opponent's force to your own advantage. don't fight and meet your opponent head-on, because then you have to contend with the pain of impact from not only the force of your opponent's attack, but added to your own attack as well.

instead take their force, add it to your own, and channel them both toward your own aims.

to do this, look at your list of thoughts and excuses. look at your damaging habits and activities. ask yourself how they serve you, and be honest. i bet you'll find that they don't serve you nearly as well as you've led yourself to believe.

the next thing to ask is how you can change the thought to make it constructive. alter a word or two and make a negative statement positive. in some cases, you may have to scrap the entire thought and create something entirely new.

here's a personal example:

i've been a mind-boggling insomniac since i was fifteen years old. for a few years, i was sleeping only on saturdays, and awake the rest of the week straight. a good night was 4 interrupted hours of sleep. and i'm such a light sleeper that i can lie awake in bed for four, five hours before nodding off...only to have the sound of the cat walking on my carpet wake me up. it's an insane way to live, and over fifteen years i've tried everything everyone could think of. nothing helped.

i'd finally just accepted living a live of exhaustion and mild desperation, migraines, lethargy...

i was saying, "i just don't sleep. nothing can help me." and this was my truth. it's gotten in the way of my health (and been very damaging), my sanity (sleep deprivation psychosis is NOT fun), and it's honestly just a really big pain in my butt. and that was my reality.

HOWEVER, i reinforced my reality by brainwashing myself. i stayed up later and later, pushed through those moments when my eyelids would droop, made my roomates paranoid about waking me up. all those years telling myself i could never sleep, how it was impossible for me to fall asleep easily. and it got worse every year, and i said it got worse every year. i told everyone.

i made my reality.

so now my reality is, "Sleep is great! I fall asleep naturally and easily." of course, i don't set myself up for failure. i gave up caffeine, keep myself hydrated, maintain a bedtime, listen to soothing tapes when i lie down. i changed my habits to help midwife this new existence where sleep is easy and natural for me.

so when i suggested working with her mom's depression and transforming her negative thoughts into positive affirmations, my friend told me her mom had "tried" a few of those things, and meditation, among other things.

okay, i have a problem with the word "try." a serious problem. it's one thing to try a new dish; in that case, "try" is another word for "sample," as in tasting a new dish you haven't encountered before. and "trying" a new sport is to test it out, to participate for the first time. but the word "try" as in "make an attempt" is something i have a serious problem with. i don't like it, and here's why.

to illustrate why, i suggested this little exercise to my friend to illuminate the difference between "trying" something and "doing" it. i texted, "'try' to move your toe. don't move it. TRY to move it."

it was one of the lessons illustrated in the book The Surrendered Single: A Practical Guide to Attracting and Marrying the Man Who's Right For You. this was one of the definitive books for me in teaching me how to be my own woman and become --as i've mentioned before-- my own funky soulfreak and perfect mate. it was stated in much calmer terms, more straightforward, but it's a fantastic manual for learning how to rock into Oneness with the Funky Jive.

after all...

it's only when we're whole that we know what we have to offer.

(the other book that's a really great, practical guide is an eBook called Dating Without Drama by paige parker)

but back to the point:
i suggested my friend do this little exercise to bring home the difference in "try" vs. "do." one gets something accomplished. the other one is useless, and only exists in the vocabulary of the excuse-makers and fucktards. us of the Funky Wow know (and i know you're funky yourself because you're reading this blog) that Funk is a verb, a whole state of being, and not just an idea.

my friend loved the experiment, by the way.

don't try to eat the frog...


you know you want to.

*trivia: the collective noun for a group of frogs is an "army" of frogs. there is also a "chorus" of frogs, but this is exclusive to male frogs singing to attract females. a "knot" is the collective noun for a group of toads.
source: ojohaven.com


Genie Sea said...

Frogcicle! Mhm! Try shmy. Do! Yes! Do! Awesome post and very "meaty"! :)

Tori said...

Wow! Heavy reading. I'm glad you aren't putting it lightly, though. I'm sure some other people besides me needed this kick in the pants. I'M GONNA EAT THE FROG! =D

Brandi said...

that is the weirdest bit of trivia I think I've ever heard...lol.

I love this post. LOVE. YES. NO TRYING. DO.

(and absolutely terrific funktastic example)

bug said...

When "trying" isn't working, you're resisting what you insist is the desired end.