How to rise up when you’re in a slump
Hi Sweet Friends,
I know that many of you feel tapped out right now. You don’t have another ounce of energy to give—not to work, family, the holidays and least of all yourself. Which is why I want to tell you a quick story about a resilient goat—a goat that knew a thing or two about how to rise up. I often share this on Hay House I Can Do It! stages across the country. By the end, thousands of people are stomping their feet, hooting, hollering and yes, there are many happy tears. Tears of release and tears of empowerment.
Just when we think we can’t go further, there’s always a little more courage in our soul arsenal.
This story embodies what I want you to know—You are a resourceful survivor. That may sound grand, but I’m here to tell you that it’s 1000% true. Every positive step you take is actually a heroic leap forward—no matter how insignificant it seems. And if you can add some loving kindness to the mix, you’ll move mountains.
Story Time at Manny’s Carwash (excerpted + updated from Crazy Sexy Cancer Survivor)
One of my favorite jobs in New York City was as a cocktail waitress at a legendary blues bar named Manny’s Carwash. I learned more about the life of an artist from the world-class musicians in that smoky dive than I ever did studying acting, writing or painting in college.
The blues lit me up (and they still do). Sultry summer nights and naked angels were the standard—in the key of G. But the life of a blues musician—especially a sideman—is tough. Many times it’s feast or famine, often filled with booze and ramen noodles. For most of the musicians, the blues was their medicine—healing themselves and others. And if they didn’t strum that 1, 3, 5 chord progression, their heart would break and they would literally expire.
One particular crinkly old man made a deep and lasting impression on me. I can’t remember his name, but I can still see his weathered face. Let’s call him Ronny for the sake of the story. Ronny must have been in his late seventies, early eighties, and man could that cat howl and blow a harmonica. He was an unknown, yet bottomless talent, a dignified hustler—who always wore a three-piece suit but couldn’t pay his bar tab.
Ronny would stop by my station and charm me into pouring top-shelf liquor in exchange for a good story. “Krissy”—for some reason all the blues dudes called me Krissy—”did I ever tell you the story of my grandpappy’s goat?”
“No, Ronny, you didn’t, I’d sure like to hear it.” I’d reply. Then I’d light my cig and listen.
PSA (public service announcement) sidenote: Thank GOD I don’t smoke anymore, if you’re still bumming cigs or buying your own, this is your year to ditch that habit baby. I know you can do it. That’s a fact Jack!
Ok, back to the story…
“Back in Mississippi, on my pappy’s farm, there was a deep hole behind the barn. Pappy was fixing to put in a new well come spring, but for years the seasons came and went with no sign of a well.
“One day us grandkids noticed that pappy’s favorite goat was missing. Well, we practically tore the place apart looking for the darn thing, until we just gave out. ‘Must of been snatched up by a coyote,’ Pappy said. Little did we know that the darn goat had fallen into the deep hole. At the same time, after listening to my granny’s complaints about the dangers of small children tearing around near the hole, my pappy reluctantly agreed to fill it.
“The next day old man Spencer came over with his John Deere backhoe and proceeded to dump mounds of dirt down the hole and onto the head of Pappy’s goat. When the dirt landed, Pappy’s goat would shake it off and stamp it down. The more dirt that fell on that creature, the more he would shake it off and stamp it down until finally he shook it off, stamped it down, and rose right out of that hole!”
Now do you think for one minute that the goat said things like: “I’m not good enough to rise, I’m too tired to rise, I’m too fat to rise, I’m too busy to rise?” Or things like, “I’m not smart enough or qualified enough to rise? Or I’ll rise tomorrow.” Heck no. He probably said, “Holy sh$t, there’s dirt on my head! Looks like there’s only one way out and that’s up.” And guess what? I bet it wasn’t easy. No way. And I bet he had to summon all his strength and grit. Just like we all do from time to time. That’s life. It’s not always simple self-care breezy. We are strong and we struggle, there is dark and light, growth and setbacks.
But, no matter what, we always have the potential to rise.
Rise out of our slump. Rise out of our bed. Rise out of our negative thoughts. Rise out of our comfort zone. Rise out of our complaints. Rise out of the fast food drive-thru. Rise out of our wine glass. Get up and rise. Just like Ronny. Just like that resilient goat—we can rise.
Rising is a choice that’s one powerful thought away.
To this day I believe that the blues man was an angel sent to inspire me. And for some reason, I thought you could use this inspiration today too.
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Now it’s your turn: Got some dirt on your sweet head? If so, what’s one small action you could take to rise up?
Peace & determined goats,