I am a Hypocrite, and so are you.
And it’s only by acknowledging and confronting our own innate hypocrisy that we can begin to change.
There’s a few things that I geek out on so much that I’ve started integrating them into my business and work with clients. Planning and productivity may not seem to fit with metaphysics to some minds, but they actually blend quite nicely. Learning to work with the flow of your natural rhythms is essential to productivity, and as a spiritual person who owns a business in the women’s spirituality niche, I help my clients uncover their own natural rhythms on both practical and spiritual levels.
I teach that routines and rituals are the key to productivity, but that they must be deliberately designed to fit with your personality and temperament, as well as flow with the numerological and astrological rhythms. Rituals and routines with a symbolic focus, aka magic, paired with psychological habit-building hacks can help to create a life that flows with a sense of ease and grace even through times of crisis.
I also teach that consistency is more important than quantity, that’s naps are productive, too, and that night time routines are at least as important as morning ones because if your sleep is shit, then your day will be shit.
And because I’m a hypocrite and don’t always practice what I preach, I also teach that you have to give yourself slack, particularly if you’re battling mental or physical illness. I call myself a Hummingbird Sloth, because though the two animals seem to be polar opposites, it’s a pretty apt description.
I’m a Creative Hummingbird — my mind is constantly going, and the ideas can at times get overwhelming. I also have ADHD, with the attention span of a hummingbird flitting from flower to flower.
Fun Fact: Hummingbirds stake out a territory, and will aggressively defend that territory. They know every flower in that territory, and know exactly how long it takes for the nectar to refill in that flower. They flit from flower to flower quickly, but they have innate timing and return to each flower when the nectar as it’s freshet and fullest.
That’s how I work. An idea hits, I get it started, and then I move quickly to the next when I get stuck. Eventually, if it’s a good one, I come back to it, working a bit further. In the time between visits to a particular project, I’ll have learned more and my ideas will have combined in some new ways, so the project actually gets even better than it would have been if I’d completed it on the first pass.
Paradoxically, I’m also a Motivated Sloth. Chronic major depressive disorder means that there are times where living is a slog. And since I have a chronically slow heart, I can’t take most anti-depressants because they slow the heart even more. Standard anti-depressants literally cause fainting spells as my heart rate slows even more than it’s natural 45–55 beats a minute, having dropped all the way into the 20s when I was in the hospital once. That was fun. Heart monitors go crazy, and it’s a little scary when they bring in the crash cart, “Just in case,” as one nurse said to me.
I’ve tried, under physician supervision, several less common medications that are effective for depression, but the side effects of those were worse than the depression. One turned me into a lactating zombie. It just completely killed all emotion and I didn’t give a shit about anything. I had no drive, no desire, nothing. And I started leaking breast milk. Fifteen years after my only son was born. It was awkward. And the withdrawals were comparable to heroin, according to the doctor, so I had to be weaned off them, because going cold turkey — which I tried once — led to horrible sweats, shakes, and pain all over.
So things go slow at times, like for a sloth. But a sloth doesn’t give up. It just keeps going until it gets where it wants to go, and it doesn’t care how long it takes. It doesn’t get angry, it doesn’t get discouraged, it doesn’t beat itself up for missing a deadline because it doesn’t have deadlines. I work when I feel like working, make the money I need to make, but I do it at my pace, not a pace imposed upon my externally. That’s one of the reasons I’m self-employed. I like that freedom to work with my own rhythm.
I know that I work best with a light structure, one that I’ve pre-defined myself. A set of routines that don’t depend on a particular time, just that they are done each day. I know that for me, meditation and journaling help to manage the depression that I can’t medicate.
I know all this stuff, and I teach all this stuff, and I obsessively study all this stuff, and yet, I fuck up and don’t implement a lot.
I stay up way late and spend insane amounts of time on Facebook. I know that both are bad. My ideal bed time is around Midnight, and I’ve been up until 3:00 and 4:00 in the morning the last couple of weeks. And that would be totally okay, I could totally work with it, as long as I stuck to my routines and used my timer for focus, but I’ve only managed to do that twice in the last week. Publish was my word of the year, with a goal to publish something every single day in 2017, and I did okay for January, but then February hit, and I went full on slacking mode, not publishing anything on Medium. I didn’t even write my Bitchcast for one of my business sites — The Bitchy Psychic. I made an attempt to get some planning done yesterday, but that went to shit when I got sucked into Netflix. And I haven’t meditated since Friday, and even before then, I was only doing half the daily meditation that I know works best for me, so today — Sunday — my brain is feeling kersplatty, but it’s almost midnight and I should probably go to bed, but I’m going to stay up until 4:00 in the morning because I took a three hour nap at 6:00 p.m., and now I’m not tired.
I don’t always practice what I preach, and I’m okay with that. And only when I accepted that and confronted it did I begin to make real progress in my personal, spiritual, and business development.
I used to not meditate at all. Now, I meditate most days, even if some of those days are half what I’d like to do. I only missed 3 days of meditation in January, and I’ve only missed 2 days so far in February, so I can jump back on with relative ease. The wagon is never too far away, no matter how many times you fall off.
I prefer to do my planning on Saturday — metaphysically, Saturn’s day is energetically conducive to planning — but I can do it any day, so tomorrow, I’ll sit down with pen and notebook, do a deep brain dump, and start getting a rough idea of the month ahead energy and astrology wise, and then plan accordingly, arranging my garden of projects for maximum ease.
I’m a hypocrite, and so are you. We’re hypocrites because we’re human. We know what we should do and we can give great advice to others, but we don’t always follow that advice. And that’s okay.
The problem isn’t the hypocrisy itself, it’s the denial of the hypocrisy. When you deny something, you force it into your Shadow, deep into your psyche, where it hides in waiting for the moments where it can rage up and cause you to self-sabotage.
I’m upfront about the struggle with my clients. I know how hard it is to transform your life, and I know it’s an ongoing process, because I’m living it. Sometimes, that transformation is accidental, foisted upon me by my own stupid impulsiveness. Other times, the transformation is deliberate, through a lot of self-work and study. Sometimes, I backslide. Sometimes, I self-sabotage. Sometimes, I straight up fuck up. But I don’t give up. I don’t say, “Welp, I’m a big fat hypocrite, so I might as well give up.”
The hypocrite may very well be the best to speak on the subject. A drug addict would best know the pitfalls of addiction; a slacker would best know the pitfalls of slacking.
If you deny that you’re a hypocrite, you’re denying that your behaviors sometimes contract your conscious beliefs, and that’s just denial of reality. The reality is, sometimes, we say one thing and at the time, we really mean it, but then our subconscious mind takes over and all that good stuff we were preaching goes out the window. Face the conflicting desires, or your hypocrisy will simply grow, and you’ll simply self-sabotage in more and more ridiculous ways.
We see this play out again and again, particularly in the more conservative religious groups. The more they deny healthy human nature, the more they suppress their desires, the more those desires rear their ugly heads in embarrassing ways. The anti-gay politician caught cruising bathrooms for men. The sex-only-in-marriage public figure caught seeking multiple affairs. The deeper you push it into the shadow, the more power you give it over your life.
Hypocrisy is not the problem. Hypocrisy is a symptom of the problem. And those problems aren’t always easy to conquer. It’s a real struggle sometimes. But you don’t give up and push it back down every time you falter. You get back up, and confront that shit again and again. And over time, it gets easier. You get better. That shit gets cleared, and you get to face the next shit. Until one day, you’ve cleared enough shit that you realize the shit you have left isn’t actually shit. None of it was. It was just life, and you did it.
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