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Here’s Something to Try the Next Time You Need a Pick-Me-Up

photo: Steven Depolo on flickr

photo: Steven Depolo on flickr

If you’re feeling down and need a pick-me-up, there are all kinds of things you can do.

You can meditate. You can go for a walk. You can pray.

All those things are great, don’t get me wrong. But today I want to introduce you to something you’ve probably never read about in any spiritual text. Ever.

It’s the power of a look to heal you. And not just any look.

This look:

photo: z egloff

photo: z egloff

Yes, I know it’s a “just” stuffed animal rendition of Dumbo. Yes, I know that stuffed animals are not given their due for their profound spiritual healing abilities, but hear me out!

A while back, Melissa and I were performing one of our rap songs at a ministerial conference. This was my first time performing for this particular group of people, and I was a little nervous. It was a group of professional spiritual types.

What if they didn’t like what we did? What if we bombed? What if, more specifically, I bombed?

The performance came and went. It went great. Lots of people seemed to like it. We were aware of bringing joy to the audience, which is our main goal in everything we do.

So what was the problem?

The problem was my mind.

The day after the performance, my mind was full of noise. Noise about what I could have done better. Noise about all the reasons people might not have liked what we did. Noise about anything my mind could come up with that was negative or contracted or bad.

And that’s when Melissa came up with an intervention.

She pulled out the stuffed Dumbo, who had just been given to her by the wonderful Molly Cameron, and she said, “Really?”

photo: z egloff

photo: z egloff

As in, are those things really true?

If you’ve ever heard of The Work by Byron Katie, it was like a Disney version of that. But with a stuffed elephant as the deliverer of the intervention.

You think you sucked? You think everything is awful? Really? Is that really true?

photo: z egloff

photo: z egloff

I have to say, it was pretty hard to maintain the barrage of negative thinking when faced with such an expression. Somehow, stuffed Dumbo managed to remind the little kid inside me that everything was going to be okay.

Not only that, but when you’re talking to a stuffed animal, it’s hard to take anything that seriously. All the things that had seemed so important and so wrong just moments before felt less wrong and less important.

It didn’t totally knock me out of my funk, but it was the beginning of the turn-around.

In my case, a stuffed animal did the trick. But maybe you have a real animal’s face you can look at. Or the face of a child. Or a friend. Maybe you can see the face in real life, or maybe you can picture it in your mind.

Then, ask yourself: What mischief is going on in my head right now? What am I making bad and wrong and awful?

And to all those things, I have just one question:

photo: z egloff

photo: z egloff

What is your experience with “Really?” therapy? Share your comments below!

Coming up! Sunday, April 26th at the Center for Spiritual Living San Jose. Melissa and I will be providing the music for both morning services! 9:30 and 11 am. 1195 Clark St., San Jose, CA.
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10 Responses to Here’s Something to Try the Next Time You Need a Pick-Me-Up

  1. Kayla March 31, 2015 at 9:56 am #

    I love this post, Z! I had forgotten about my stuffed elephant. He definitely helps to provide a more light-hearted perspective when I am stuck. After reading this, I had a conversation with him and he is now sitting on my lap nodding approvingly for seeking his counsel and replying to you. :-)

    • Z Egloff April 1, 2015 at 11:40 am #

      Hi Kayla,

      Ha! I love this. And I’m glad that your elephant was ready and available to remind you of how magnificent you are.

      Look forward to seeing you soon! :)

      XOZ

  2. Karen March 31, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    I know that there’s a stuffed elephant somewhere in this house (I saved ALL OF THE STUFFIES from when my kids were little), and I intend to find it!!!

    I tend to do that post-event self-criticism, too, but I’m WAY better about it than I used to be, and that feels so darn good that I could raise my trunk and do an elephant call!

    • Z Egloff April 1, 2015 at 11:39 am #

      Hi Karen,

      Yay! Have fun with your stuffies.

      And hear you about being grateful for the improvement. Back in the day, I barely even knew I was beating myself up. I just knew I felt bad. The work of Abe and others is such a great gift in Feeling Better All The Time! I know you know what I’m talking about. :)

      XOZ

  3. Rev. Geraldine March 31, 2015 at 10:51 pm #

    I LOVE this post. When our minds are open, a stuffed toy is as much a teacher /comforter as anyone else. And that Dumbo is one adorable teacher. I am a long time student and teacher of The Work and your post was just the best! Thank you.

    • Z Egloff April 1, 2015 at 11:37 am #

      Hi Rev. Geraldine,

      Nice to hear from you! And thank you so much for your kind words.

      The Work is amazing, isn’t it? I am so grateful for teachers like Katie – and Dumbo – that remind us of the truth.

      Stop by again any time! :)

      XOZ

  4. Karen W. April 1, 2015 at 6:39 am #

    Great idea! It is somehow comforting to know that we all can get in a funk, sometimes seemingly with no reason for it. When this stuff hits me, I’ll go out and listen to my wild birds singing away in the trees. A little bit of seed keeps the around, and it is the best investment possible for the unfettered joy they bring.
    Yes, if they could talk, I’ll bet they would say, “Really?” when problems seem insurmountable or all consuming.
    Thanks for the reminder that it is nice to have outside ‘coaches’ to let us know that things truly are all OK. Really. :-)

    • Z Egloff April 1, 2015 at 11:34 am #

      Hi Karen,

      Great to hear from you again! :)

      Thank you for sharing your practice for getting out of a funk. I love this image of all those birds around you, saying “Really?”

      I too love to go out in nature – it’s such a wonderful reminder of the natural harmony of all things. Including us, when we’re in tune with it.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      XOZ

  5. Susan May 5, 2015 at 7:57 am #

    When I’m in a real funk, I turn on PhotoBooth on my Mac and take pictures of myself using Special effects. All the silly distorted pictures of myself are funny and soon lift me out of my funk. “Really?” would be apropos.

    • Z Egloff May 5, 2015 at 11:21 am #

      Hi Susan,

      I love this! This is awesome! Thank you for sharing this most excellent method for lifting yourself out of a funk. I think I’m going to have to try this sometime. . .

      XOZ

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