Once upon a time, Kyeli said to me, “Let’s go to Schlitterbahn!” (It’s a waterslide park near Austin, where we used to live.)
“Ugh, I don’t wanna,” I replied. “It’s hot, I don’t know where my swimsuit is, it’ll be crowded, it’s an hour and a half away…”
“Come on, it’ll be fun!” she urged.
“Okay, okay,” I grumbled. (This is before I was practicing being wholehearted.)
So we went to Schlitterbahn.
I rode the crazy curvy waterslide, I zoomed down the super-tall waterslide, I went around the lazy river and put a tube on my tube (not on my head).
And I had a FANTASTIC time.
Ever since that fateful day, “Schlitterbahn” has been my code word for something I don’t feel like doing at the time, but I’ll enjoy a whole lot if I can just get over that initial hump of resistance.
It’s really fun to say! Try it: “SHLITTER-BONN.”
DDR is sometimes like Schlitterbahn. I don’t feel like playing, but if I do play, I enjoy the heck out of myself.
Spending time with friends is sometimes like Schlitterbahn. I think to myself, “I just want to chill out at home and play video games,” but if I actually get out of the house and see people, I’m really happy I did.
Writing can feel like Schlitterbahn. I’m resist because I’m not in the mood, I’m not feeling inspired, it’s not quiet enough, I don’t have a nice big chunk of time… but if I do write, it feels so good.
What’s your Schlitterbahn?
What do you resist doing, even though it would make you happy if you did it?
And what can you do differently to get yourself more happiness?
There are a couple of little tricks you can use to sneak yourself into Schlitterbahn.
- There’s the “just 5 minutes” trick. For example, if I don’t feel like writing, I can write for just 5 minutes, and if I’m not enjoying it after 5 minutes, I can stop.
- You can optimize your environment to smooth out your resistance. For example, I created a DDR station so I don’t have to set it up every time I want to play. I remove the “But it takes so long to set it up!” excuse.
Don’t “just do it”.
When those tricks don’t apply, it can be tempting to force yourself to “just do it” even though you don’t feel like it. Please don’t do that. That’s violent and unkind to yourself.
…but maybe you could trust yourself.
Maybe you could trust your self-knowledge. If you know that it will make you happy, but you’re not feeling it, act on faith. Not blind faith, but faith rooted in experience and in knowing yourself.
Maybe you could remember that feeling of the last time you went to Schlitterbahn; feel the wind and the water, the fun and the joy. Maybe you could focus on that feeling and let it expand in your body, let it inspire you to action.
Maybe you could make future plans to go to Schlitterbahn and commit to them. Then, when the time comes, you could remember to trust your past self, because your past self made those plans out of self-love, self-care, and self-kindness.
So, the next time you notice yourself resisting something you know would make you happy, take a moment to think of Schlitterbahn, and ask yourself: