Image Credit - 'Demons In My Head' by MissFried on Deviant Art
I was winding my way slowly through the still unfamiliar York campus the other day, extra alert for student pedestrians and enthusiastic protestors, when I found myself behind a white utility truck with a very unusual sign. Across the back it read: Magical Pest Control.
My first thought was “Ew, rats.” Then I paused to consider what made the service magical. Was the company run by wizards who would banish vermin into oblivion with the wave of a wand? Were they armed with potions wrought by a league of ancient hags? Better yet, what if the pests themselves were magical? The theatre department overrun by unicorns, again. Perhaps the Shulich business school was besieged by gryphons. All this time, we are convinced this company has made some silly branding choices when all the while they are exterminating a legion of demons doing the evil bidding of the devil himself right under our noses.
My spring transformation will be a failed exercise without my own brand of Magical Pest Control. I’ve got some real noisy demons in this head o’mine that can really wreak havoc. They bubble up all hungry and ugly and I get so dazzled by them, that I forget they aren’t really part of me at all. If I get diverted from my writing they say “Don’t bother getting back to that novel. It’s silly, nobody will want to read it, and you’re wasting your time.” When I have a bad moment with one of the children they say “You don’t deserve to be their mother. They would be happier without you.” When I disconnect from one of my partners they say “You are too messed up to be in a loving relationship, you should just be alone and that way you won’t hurt anyone.” See? Real asshole demons, right?
Maybe you have a few of those magical pests knocking around in there too? An infestation can be a real disaster, but we’ve all had to deal with unwanted guests of the nasty variety. The following extermination exercises have helped me immensely.
The Sensory Check In
Pause. Close your eyes. Breathe slowly and deeply. What do you hear around you? What can you smell? How does your body feel? As you focus on these elements, just recognize them, and breathe through each moment of awareness. Now open your eyes and look around, taking note of the things you see around you. Continue breathing. Feel what it’s like to be present in the moment.
Take a Look at the Beasts
What happens when you turn a blind eye to a pest situation? They run rampant, and multiply, until you are overrun. The same is true for those Magical Pests, those demons in your head. Don’t ignore them. Don’t try to distract yourself from them. Take a look at them. Sit with them in a quiet space and allow yourself to really feel them. Turn to your breathing again and just let the feelings come. Cry if you need to. Feel whatever you feel. Just face those pesky bastards and keep breathing. I’m usually surprised at how quickly this makes them go away.
When the exterminator comes to visit, you usually get to check into a motel for a night or two. When your little demons start raging, treat yourself to something special, like an unexpected night away. It doesn’t have to be a hotel visit, of course. Even a quiet moment of leisure reading with a cup of tea will do the trick. When I neglect myself, or rush through my days, or get too bogged down with stress, it’s like little cracks start to appear in my psyche, allowing the nasty pests to creep in. I’ve started taking the arrival of the demons as a sign to slow down, take time out for me, or do something purely for joy or pleasure.
With the right ammo, and a healthy dose of determination, any pest can be vanquished without burning down the house. I’ll probably need to get rid of a few things, there’s always a casualty in these situations, but it’s usually a saggy couch, or a forgotten box in the basement somewhere that I don’t really need anyway.
Magical Pest Control – another hilarious message delivered by the Universe, exactly when I needed it. Thanks for that. xo