Clean and Elegant

Clean and Elegant

Sunday, 23 June 2013

I read "Choose Yourself," by James Altucher and my oxytocin levels increased immediately.

I have owned James Altucher’s book “Choose Yourself,” for one week, and already it is covered in avocado stains.

James Altucher and I have tons in common.  We both recognize the immense value of taking a shit.  The benefits are physical, emotional, spiritual, physical, creative and financial.
If your bowels don’t function well enough to take a smooth and thorough dump, life is going to be more difficult than it has to be.

Also, James and I both have very curly hair that is usually messy.

Here is a picture of me reading “Choose Yourself.” You can’t see the avocado stains.  They are on the inside.  I am reading the chapter, “How to release the God Hormone.” It is based on James’ blogpost 10 unusual ways to release oxytocin into your life. At first I thought that oxytocin was the same as oxycontin, but I guess it is a little different.  Oxycontin is a narcotic while oxytocin  is this natural thing that your body releases when you hump your lover’s leg, or like someone’s post on Facebook, or eat a bunch of eggs and bananas and peppers mixed together.  The words are similar.  Just like the words vague, vagina, and vagus are similar.  James Altucher points this out in his oxytocin chapter and it made me laugh and release oxytocin. James says that when your vagus nerve is inflamed, you’ll feel pissed off and stressed out.  When it feels good, the whole world will seem orgasmic. Knock yourself out, everyone.


I just took a break from writing this post to hump the Boatman’s leg.  He was lying on the couch reading a book about philosophy.  I interrupted him and we had sex and now my vagina and vagus nerve feel spectacular. The feelings are not vague.
In his chapter, “The Seven Habits of Highly Mediocre People”originating from this post, James recommends Procrastination.  I am grateful for this and I find it convenient.
 “Choose Yourself,” has the tagline, “Be Happy, Make Millions, Live the Dream.”  I’m pretty sure that for James, what is most important is being happy.  On a couple of occasions in his life, James has had millions of dollars.  But he wasn’t happy and he wasn’t living the dream.  He was barely sleeping, his body was a wreck, and he didn’t have any friends.  In 2002, he lost fifteen million dollars in fifteen weeks.  He had a similar crash in 2008.
Each time, what got James back on his feet is something he calls the Daily Practice.   Essentially, it means taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.
What’s the use of millions of dollars if  you hate yourself and you have no friends and you can’t take a comfortable shit every morning?
The Daily Practice can be overwhelming if you haven’t pooped or had sex in a long time, and you’re tired and you hate your job and your brain feels stale and dead inside.  The good news is  James says that you don’t need to fix everything all at once.  Remember, we are only becoming highly effective, mediocre people.  No sweat.  We can all do this.
I was listening to an interview with James on, and James says that if you are looking to begin somewhere, start by getting enough sleep and then recognizing the abundance that is already in your life.  For instance, James says, if you’re stuck in traffic, instead of being pissed off about wasting time, focus on the abundance of cars.  So many cars, so much human development.  So much prosperity.  Or at least a lot of car payments. 
From about January to the end of May, I’ve been pretty irritated about my life.  I’d been waking up at 4 or 4:30 a.m., cranking myself through a vigorous and somewhat neurotic yoga practice and then hoofing it to work where I nag at small children to push in their chairs and wash their dirty hands in French.  Every week, I was missing more than a full night of sleep, about two hours every night.  I became volatile, hysterical. I thought I would kill the children I worked with. My body developed these weird neurological twitches.  Throughout the day, my shoulders would shrug involuntarily. My esophagus would contract as though I were going to puke. Most mornings before leaving for work I would throw a hysterical fit about some tragic issue like how I didn’t have time to take a shit, my pants were dirty, the new kid was a total brat, and my boss would probably make me stay late. 
The miracle of yoga had never been less abundant.
Fortunately, about a month ago, my left knee swelled up on my way to work. 
Here’s my knee, after the physiotherapist taped it up and it looked like a scrotum.

My Scrotum Knee. My pants pulled down
Now I sleep in until about 5:30.  I do half as many yoga poses.  I am two hundred times less bitchy.
My knee is healing really well.  It doesn’t look like a scrotum anymore.
And my shoulder and esophagus twitch significantly less.
I have energy to do more of the Daily Practice.  I read. I write down ideas, even the stupid ones, not every day, but when I think of it, and don’t feel too self-conscious.  I try not to be so pissed off about everything.  That was hard when I was really tired.  Now I am not as tired and so it is easier.
It is also easier to see the abundance.  Before I would look at my work day and see eight and a half hours to kill and waste, plus the commute. 
Being grateful for what I had seemed impossible.  I could barely say thank you to the busdriver.  He was driving me somewhere I didn’t want to go.  When I thought of saying thank you, I’d get a lump in my throat and feel nauseous and ashamed. 
I’ve been forcing myself to say thank you to the bus driver, every day.  As I get less tired, I feel more sincere. 
Although I’m not making millions of dollars, or living the dream exactly, I am trying to be as happy I can be, right now.  Sometimes I feel bitter and disappointed that I don’t have as much time to write and do yoga as I want.  But at least I have some time.  More than most people. 
Also, there is some abundance in my job.  I get to walk all the time.  This helps me to not be constipated or fat.  The school has really big windows and I can always see the sky.  Plus the children are full of abundance. They are full of youth and snot and sometimes diarrhea.  And if you listen, they say many interesting things.
Last week, a five-year-old asked me if I had boobies.  An hour later, a two-year-old looked at me from across the sandbox and said, “Erica, you don’t have any nipples.”
James Altucher says that most people should quit their jobs.  Probably he is right.  Someday I will quit my job.  Or maybe I will get fired for my radical views on potty training. That is my dream. To get fired because of the potty training. But while I am waiting, I'm going to think about my nipples and laugh.
The End.
Thank you, James. You’ve done wonders for my outlook.  And you don’t need to pay me back for the book, because my life is already full of abundance.
Watch James Altucher explain Choosing Yourself, in 13 minutes:
Follow James Altucher on Twitter: @jaltucher
Check out James's Blog
Me and my vagus nerve: @mypelvicfloor

1 comment:

  1. The message of this book is great! Choose yourself. Every single time. Are you being rejected by companies when submitting resumes? Choose yourself. Are you being turn out by women when asking them out for dates? Choose yourself.
    In this book, James Altucher shares with you a simple message of choosing yourself every single time, in every situation. Not only that, he shares with you ideas on how you can do that