Tuesday, August 18, 2015

No complaining for 30 days. And you thought the pepper and lemon juice cleanse was tough...

The boyfriend and I were out recently with a dear friend of ours who mentioned he had recently been on a cleanse. "Pepper and lemon juice?" says the boyfriend. "Not quite" says our friend, "No complaining for 30 days". "Whoa", I say, and the idea stuck with me, either because I was completely traumatized by it or I thought it was brilliant and I should probably try it.

Except that I'm a misanthrope, through and through. If I stopped complaining, I would basically stop speaking. I mean, what would I talk about? Our friend raved about this cleanse, claiming it transformed his thinking and writing (he's an actor and playwright). I wondered if my playwriting would improve if I attempted this cleanse. It's a daunting prospect. Complaining is my main mode of communication. If I can't ridicule, mock, cut down, berate or criticize, what do I have to live for?

But I can't shake the idea. It's a challenge and it's enticing. Would I be a completely different person if I never complained or would I just go stark raving mad, shouting "Serenity now!" while walking the streets in my underwear. It's only 30 days. I can stop after that if I don't like it, right? I suppose my biggest fear is that I'll become a happy person.

A trusted mentor told me recently that I falsely assume misery will make me a good artist, that happiness and creativity are not mutually exclusive, and that being happy (contentment and inner peace also apply here) actually generates creativity which would, in turn, make me a better artist. I had to ponder that for a while; I wasn't completely convinced.

Generally speaking, happy people annoy me. Maybe I'm envious. Maybe I want to be happy and don't know how. Maybe I like being in a constant state of mild misery. So I guess I'll try this cleanse which I assume also includes retraining the voice in my head that's constantly nattering away, feeding off its own negativity. Will that voice go silent, and if there's silence, will there be more space, and if there's more space, will there be more room for brilliant ideas? I shouldn't kid myself - I'll be going cold turkey in mental rehab. No complaining for 30 days. Maybe I'll start tomorrow...


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