Note: People besides me do immaculatize too, and it seems that generally speaking it makes them feel pretty good! So this is the first in a series of what will one day be millions of Immacu-testimonies that testify to the power of taking time to work on yourself, Immaculata-style.
rob is based in Vancouver, BC (in Canada, guys). When he’s not workin’ his Immaculata, he blogs and nerds out about music and what not here. You can also download his Best of 2010 Mixtape and several of his DJ Sets, and he made the first every Immacu-Mix, “Songs in the Key of Immaculata” which is really really good.
And now, in his own words…
They say that things come into your life for a reason. While I have no idea who “they” are, after my TURBO experience I’m pretty sure “they” are right.
I had a bonkers 2010 (note: I’m a grown up, I’m not complaining about this). I spent the entire Summer being amazingly active but in the Fall I became far too consumed with work. My life balance fell out of whack and I didn’t think too much of it until I went home for Christmas. While back home my diet turned to junk (sweet, delicious, junk) and I over-indulged in the wines, beers, and bourbons (sweet, delicious, wines, beers, and bourbons) while spending countless hours catching up with family and friends. I thought this was all excellent/super/fantastic until a few days before New Year ’s Eve when my eyes turned very red. To be clear, my eye balls weren’t red, rather the skin around my eyes went puffy and turned this bright red colour. Basically, it looked like I had two big black eyes… that were red in colour. Have I sufficiently grossed you out yet?
While I wasn’t certain what was causing my eyes to freak out, I knew that something had to give. I knew that I needed to take a break from EVERYTHING for a while. And in one of those weird perfect synchronicity-type moments a post about an upcoming 30 day Immaculata (TURBO!) popped up in my Google Reader. I signed up on the spot (and then resumed applying ice packs to my eyes).
I wasn’t sure what to expect when signing up for TURBO, and to be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything. I thought that if I could use some weird Internet cleanse thingy as a justification for taking a week or two off drinking I’d be good. Didn’t really have high hopes for myself or the program.
Turns out I was completely wrong.
Within a day of sign up the support started flowing. I was emailed a ridiculously comprehensive document to help me map out my month and goals. I was invited to join the TURBO facebook group (It’s like a virtual AA meeting… but for people doing good things). I simply had to step my game up.
There were 5 things I wanted to focus on during TURBO:
• I wanted to eat right (i.e. eat real food, and stay away from dairy, potatoes, rice, etc)
• I wanted to not drink booze
• I wanted to exercise at least 5 times a week
• I wanted to create new music & remixes using Ableton (a digital recording workstation program)
• I wanted to try new things – specifically I wanted to read books (for me books = school = yuck), I wanted to try meditating, and I wanted to spend less time dicking around on the Internet.
And off I went… I measured myself daily on the above and then reviewed my progress weekly to ensure I had a good month.
The funny thing is that I really got into it. I’m guessing 99% of this is due to the online community of Immaculatizers (that’s a word right?)[ed. note – FUCK YEAH]. Through the power of Facebook (I feel sooooo creepy saying that phrase) myself and the other Immaculatizers were able to check in and support each other daily. To be clear, this wasn’t some sort of Dr. Phil-esque group of weirdos, this was a community of young, smart, creative folk who approached all of this with a sense of humour and collaboration. No day was complete without a Photoshop involving Leslie Neilsen and a couple of dolphins, a 90’s dance video critic, and the presentation of some sort of new idea for getting our collective shit together.
After about a week or so I started to see a bit of change in myself. I’d built some solid routines to ensure I wasn’t treating my body like a garbage can and I was spending my time doing things important to me. One of the earliest revelations I had was that I spend so much time just wasting time (to quote an obscure Biz Markie song, I was “busy doing nuthin‘”). Turns out, I can actually get a lot done in a day if I’ve got the tiniest bit of drive. After a few weeks of TURBO’ing I saw huge changes. I was looking leaner and meaner (in the context of this discussion “meaner” is meant in a nice, friendly way). I had created and COMPLETED a bunch of new songs. I had read a bunch of books (I think I’ve read 5 books this year so far, in the 10 years prior to that I think I read 5 books in total that weren’t textbooks). I had a refreshed outlook on exercise (normally, I’d drag myself to the gym/yoga/whatever… now I’m like LET’S DO THIS!). And finally, my brain was feeling pretty good… lots less noise, a sense of calm, and a rosy-as-fuck outlook.
Oh, and my gross red, puffy eyes were long gone (sidebar: during TURBO I went and saw a naturopath to get an informed opinion on what had caused my eyes to freak out. The diagnosis was stress and diet. When I told the naturopath about Immaculata I was basically given an entire boxful of gold stars).
I wasn’t sure if I’d relapse back into my old ways at the end of the 30 days, but so far things have been great. Yep, I’ve had a couple of celebratory drinks and eaten a couple of not-so-great-for-me snacks, but I’m still tracking my weekly goals and feeling pretty great. The best thing is that the change I’ve created has become a habit. That’s some real personal growth shit right there, son!
I’m looking forward to the March Immaculata where we’re all going to become creative geniuses or somethin’ (note: real details on this coming from Jamie shortly). Are you in?