The Life Rewind Process -- How To Change Your Life In One Weekend. Really.
I remember the first time someone asked me, “Are you a life coach?”
I bristled. Cringed. Wanted to swivel around in the most indignant of manners and storm off into the subway (I’m a New Yorker).
I loathed the question because every single time I’d met a Life Coach they tried to sell me something. A course, a book, their services, a new line of yoga mats. Dog collars (that was a new one).
Call me crazy (many have), but what I wanted to hear from them why their life made them remotely suited to give advice to anyone?
Because honestly – no one needs to be coached on their life. We’re born, we live, we die. Hopefully not from high blood pressure or a broken heart. Aw, that was poetic.
Now, of course, I’m whittled down the very complex thing that is life, I know, but let’s get real. We ask too many people for advice when we know how to live. We do. We just keep forgetting that we know.
I also bristled because I come from a long line of shrinks. My ex is a shrink. Sister is a shrink. I party with shrinks. Those wacky nights where we play Nietzsche Twister are off the chain. Watch out! Don’t step on the red Kierkegaard dot! He might make you question the entire meaning of your existence!
I was that weird kid who was reading Carl Jung and Freud when other boys were reading Spiderman comics.
True story: one kid, Carl Cannon (not his real name) came up to me in the school cafeteria and said “Wanna read my new Batman comic?”
I looked at the cover. I knew the story. A boy saw his parents murdered and so he put on a costume to save people. No super powers. Just a dude in a suit.
“Why do you think he does it?” I asked Carl.
“What do you mean?” Carl asked pulling a sizable booger out of his nose.
“I mean, why does he do it? Help people? Do you think it is to reclaim the childhood that was taken to him? Because he saw his parents die. That early stuff can totally change the course of your life.” I handed the comic back to Chris.
Chris stared at me. “You’re so fucking weird” he said, and then he walked away. In a huff, I might add. I was 10. True story. Absolutely true.
Now, why am I telling you this? And, how does this relate to this blog post?
And yes, Batman is on Amazon for only $2.99. See the old one by Tim Burton. Not the one where they had nipples on their breast plates. Unless you’re into that kind thing, which if you are, good for you. #youdoyou
Here's why I snuck Batman in here.
If Bruce Wayne could take his early trauma and turn it around to save the world, so you can too. And if you wanna wear breasts plates with nipples on them, go for it. Whatever it takes, do it.
Our job is to spin whatever Batman neurosis we have into gold. You. Not your mother. Certainly not your accountant. You. Only you. That’s a song I think.
Okay, yes, someone created Batman but I’ll bet you $20 that was person was working through their mommy/daddy shit when they wrote about some dude in a suit with no superpowers.
We all have super powers. The goal of your life (there’s a lot of goals in here, most about deep, emotional stuff I hope) is find out what your super powers are – own them unapologetically - and then pimp them out to help yourself, and then world. Read that last part again, please.
Find your super powers to help yourself, and then the world. Not the other way around. If you don’t do you first, you can’t feed starving kids in Ethiopia. It’s not backwards, it’s emotionally logical. Live your life in service of getting your shit together first, and then help others. There is no shortcut. Well, there is. But I’ve heard lobotomies have a few side effects.
There. That’ll be $500 for my Life Coaching services. I’ll send you my Venmo address.
As for the Life Coaching title thang – I was born for this work. Yeah, yeah you might say after reading what I wrote before but trust me – this work wanted me. I was like Al Pacino in Godfather III. It kept pulling me back in. Oh, and like Al, I yell with passion.
My start was pretty epic and hairy.
Now, I’ll tell it to you but this should come with an NC-17 warning ‘cause this shit is deep and crazy as fuck. It is. Like my mom was. Like my grandmother was. Like my uncle was. Like I thought I was. Crazy. As in, my entire childhood was filled with mental illness. My mom was insane. No, not like ‘she knows how to party’ insane but insane insane. Literally.
When I was born I wanted to die. I know, sounds awful. It’s a real thing. It’s called Failure to Thrive Syndrome and it’s where a baby looks like they can’t decide if they wanna stay on earth or not. That was me. Took me 6 months to decide if I wanted to live.
I didn’t eat, sleep and want to be touched. I knew what I was getting myself in for. I didn’t know as a baby if I wanted to choose to live, but I did, and here I am today.
After that early start of fuckery, the madness, for me, began.
I’ll grab the remote and hit fast forward.
THE TRUE LIFE OF MIKEY CHRISTOPHER BRYAN:
- Abused as a kid from 0-14.
- Kicked out of house at 14.
- Homeless sex worker starting at 12. It ain’t Pretty Woman. More like Pretty Woman in IMAX 3-D stoned.
- Smoked and ate and vaped enough weed from 16 to 45 to make Rihanna blush.
- Fell into deep depression and panic attacks for, oh, a few years. Like 35. Give or take.
- Fat, then skinny, then fat again. I do me love Dominoes.
- Broke, broke, motherfucking broke. Rolling dimes broke. Sneaking into movie theaters broke. Wearing the same jeans two weeks in a row broke. Giving, um, lip service to my landlord. “You must pay the rent!” “I can’t pay the rent!” “You must stop yelling!”
- Today: Happy, healthy, financially dope and balanced.
Funny story: a client told me at dinner the other night he told his controlling mother about my past, a past I holler from the rooftop, a past that I’ve triumphed over which is the only credentials one needs to be this thing called a Life Coach and she said with a dismissive wave “Oh, well good thing someone like that is Life Coaching you. Jesus.”
Yes, it is. Isn’t it. Dear. Heart. #clearingofthroat
Do I get stuck some days. Sure. Now and then. But they are rare and here is the truth – whenever I feel like shit I ask for it. Yes, I do. Not life. Me. I create how I feel. And if I feel bad? I love myself.
So much I make me sick of me.
I wake and choose to live every day. Have to. What else am I gonna do. Here is here, now is now and there you go. #screwyoueckert #neverleaveme
That passion, that self-discipline would not be so real if I didn’t grow up in Hell. By the way, I don’t believe in Hell. Well, being forced to watch QVC where some Life Coaching is selling a dog collar that reads “#selflove” might be close.
My life changed dramatically when I sat my ass down and wrote my life story. I wrote an entire book. A memoir. Then a TV show based on the memoir. "Type-A your table for two is ready! For you and your ego!"
Writing the book and the TV show and the endless essays like this accelerated/keeps accelerating my healing faster than all the years of therapy, weed and psychics combined. I don’t recommend the weed part, by the way. It’s just not a positive choice. #positivechoiceswithmikey
When you put on paper/computer/stone tablet your life story you can then write the future you want, the future you design while also being in there here and now.
So, here is a process that will be incredibly rewarding if you do it.
Don’t make me come over and make you. I mean, if you’re in Sweden I probably won’t come over just because it’s mad expensive to fly there. Although I heard it’s a beautiful country.
THE LIFE REWIND PROCESS:
Pick a weekend. One coming up. Block off 2 hours one Saturday morning and 2 hours one Sunday morning.
This is what you’re gonna do:
- Pee. Put down the lid if you live with women. Thanks for representing my gender with pride, men. It’s starts with us.
- Muzzle the kids, tie up the dog, buy your partner a diamond ring to distract them so they leave you alone for those first two hours.
- Get to a private space where a pen and paper or computer are and get ready to write.
- Music: you must have music for this next part. Pput on music that reminds you of your childhood. For me, I put on Fleetwood Mac and Boston and Rush and Elton John and I’m 11 again. If lyrics drive you crazy when writing, listen to something instrumental.
- Take in a deep breath – let it out. Do it again. And again. Don’t pass you. Now…listen to the music.
- Chill. Breath. And write down the first image that comes to mind. One thing: it must be an image anywhere from 6 to 14. Write about that summer where Uncle Bob did that thing. Write about that dance where Julie did that thing. Write about the holiday he did that to you and you still can’t forget it. Chill. Surrender. Write.
- Keep writing. Keep writing. No, you can’t pee again.
- STOP at the 2-hour mark.
- Done. Go throw a party for yourself. Take those pages and put them aside. Somewhere very, very safe,
- Now on the next morning, Sunday, go back and read those pages.
- Now this part is fun. Sci-fi Netflix show fun. Enter the scene of your past in your present form. Walk up to the younger version of you. Kneel down and/or bend over and look at your younger self in the eyes, say, “What do you want me to be in life? Right now?” Listen for the answer. If you don’t hear it, put your right hand over your heart, close your eyes and ask again. Listen for the answer. Write it down.
- For the next hour write about your life TODAY as if you were doing exactly what your younger self told you to be. Astronaut? Write about working at NASA. Ballerina? Be in the dressing room at Lincoln Square. Famous Hula hoop player? Be on the sidelines at Madison Square Garden polishing your custom-made Hula hoop hot stuff.
- The point is to open up to the possibilities, to not say “I’m not a fucking astronaut, okay? I work at Key Food”. Your brain's left hemisphere is saying “This exercise is awesome!” and your right side is saying “This is exercise is 4 hours of my life I’ll never get back.” When was the last time you were excited for your life? Your life is meant to be fun, a blast, at a party and again, so we’re clear, no -- I’m not on Peyote but I am determined to help you feel the possibilities of your life, not the limitations.
- Finish writing that, put it aside and now go take the dog out. And you may pee.
- In a few weeks go back and read those pages. Read them and see what you feel. See what comes up for you. It'll be something new, and if you're wise, a sense of the new direction of your life.
Ask yourself when you read those pages: Did it spark an idea for a new job? Relationship? Sex change?
Okay, maybe not that drastic but it would be nice it if shook something up. Woke you the fuck up to NOW and what's COMING.
The work I do is to go deeper than most would like go to (but love…eventually) and getting to the core of those pesky realistic beliefs that are holding you back.
Now I have to go to Greenwich Village and see if I can’t find a costume shop that will sell me a Batman costume with prominent nipples. Pretty sure those S&M shops will have one. Not that I know where they are. Me?
No. I’m a Life Coach. A respectable Life Coach, thank you very much. Wanna buy a dog collar that says #selflove for $19.95?