A Smudge Stick For Your Brain After A Run-In With Debbie Downer

Have you ever found yourself in the unenviable position of wondering why you even called a particular person every time you hang up the phone with them? You know the ones I’m talking about, too. The ones who are so completely invested in making you feel a lot worse than you did before you spoke to them. These people are mysterious to me. I often wonder if they sit around their dinner table and boast about their talents to their significant others:

“You know who called me before? Billy. Yup, all excited about his future or some project he’s working on. Poor guy. I did him the favor of making sure he had no hope left by the time we hung up. Yup. I mean, some one had to make sure he knew that these things rarely work out and it’s best to be prepared for failure and disappointment. I think he came back to Earth by the time he hung up. I could tell by the tone in his voice — or lack of tone. His enthusiasm was completely gone. It felt great.”

Now obviously I’m just trying to get you to smile, but I once read about a phenomenon known as “The Crab Theory” that explains this perfectly. It’s an awful thing to consider, but if you’ve ever seen a gang of crabs in a bucket, you’ll notice that if one tries to crawl out another crab will reach up and drag it back into the bucket with all of the others. People can be like this, too. Especially the crabby ones.

I will confess, I very recently experienced this with someone and, man, was it damaging to my psyche! It took close to three days of reading books, listening to podcasts and talking to people , just to get me back to where I was just moments before I picked up the phone to call this person.

What we need is a five-step plan for dealing with run-ins with this kind of psychic vampire. Take it from me, the inspiration for my writing this comes from my most altruistic of intentions. After the seventy-two hour period I endured getting myself back to normal, I felt driven to help anyone else who might find themselves cut off at the knees by Debbie Downer. So, these methods I am about to impart are all laboratory tested. Here are the five things I did to heal myself:

1- Listen To Dr. Wayne Dyer’s “The Power Of Intention Audiobook”- I listened to this book a few years ago but I was relieved that I had the wherewithal to know to pick it up again after I was laying hopelessly translucent and bloodless on the floor. He, in his very calm Dr. Dyer voice, gives step by step instructions for re-capturing your intention and getting your manifesting shoes back on. Honestly, it worked wonders.

2-Guided Meditations- Do a YouTube search for “guided meditation confidence” or “guided meditation manifesting” and allow yourself to fall asleep at night with these running in the background. They also helped to scrub the toxins out of my brain and switch my setting right back to ass kicking.

3-Take A Successful Person To Lunch- Now I realize that not everybody has access to a successful person and if you find yourself rolling your eyes as you read this step — especially because you do not know any successful people — this might be a good time to address that issue. I can not stress enough how important it is to surround yourself with visionaries. For everyone else, text the most successful person you know, offer them free food and allow their vibe to rub off on you. Successful people are successful because they don’t allow any crabs to pull them back in the bucket. By the time you’re back in your car, you’ll have a full belly and a full heart.

4-Develop A Positive Morning Ritual- This one takes a little work, but by this point you should be aware of the fact that the size of your reward will be in direct correlation to the size of your effort. I have a rebounder that I start jumping on every morning as I keep my eyes focused on my vision board. As I am jumping, I run through a set of mind exercises. First, I think about everything I am grateful for. Then I move on to everyone I love. Then everyone who loves me. Then what I am passionate about. I finish by repeating the affirmation “I am unstoppable,” over and over until it becomes a mantra. None of this is going to work if you’re just phoning it in. Each of these steps require you to become emotionally charged. When you are visualizing what you are grateful for, really feel that gratitude. It works best when you can get yourself to the verge of joyful tears.

5-Stay Busy- There is this famous quote by Joan Baez, “Action is the antidote to despair.” There is nothing that will sink your boat quicker than staring at the TV in a gluey ball of inactivity. Write a blog. Map out the outline of your first book. Or your second book. Treat yourself to an Autumn walking meditation in the mountains or on a trail. Any and all of these things help.

Moving forward, I also made myself a promise to steer clear of this Negative Nathan. There was nothing particularly unpleasant about any of these steps, but it was a great deal of effort to get back to where I was in the first place. Wasting valuable time playing psychic Chutes and Ladders is a drag. That being said, if you find yourself needing to “sage your brain,” these steps should prove helpful!


A Smudge Stick For Your Brain After A Run-In With Debbie Downer was originally published in P.S. I Love You on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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