How To Get Back On Track After One Of Life’s Destructive Storms

Ever been riding an incredible wave of productivity and personal growth, only to be utterly knocked off your feet?

You know what it’s like:

One minute it seems like you’re unstoppable with work, diet, sleep, exercise. Then the next minute …

You’ve hit rock bottom.


Bruised. Broken. Sore.


And in the back of your mind …

… the front of your mind …

the sides of your mind …

… that constant, goddamn roar:


Give Up. Give Up. Give Up.


Now … I don’t know about you, but I HATE that voice.

And here’s why:

I’m not a worshipper of Deleuze (or any philosopher for that matter), but there are times when I cave in to his dogma.


I once read Deleuze say (and I paraphrase) that there is only thing that makes it okay to hate.

And that thing is stupidity.

Well, guess what?

The voice that holds you down and corrupts your forward movement …

It’s stupid!

And yes:

You’re Allowed To Be Angry About Anything That Holds You Down


The trick is in finding a way out of the Stupidity Hurricane.

And yes, when I’m talking solution, I’m talking about the guru stuff.

The Bruce Lee jazz about bending like grass when the hard winds come instead of toppling over like a sagging brick wall battered from standing without the ability to flex against yet another storm.

That kind of stuff. Pure self-improvement ra-ra-ra.

Cool thing is:

You can bend before you break. You can survive any storm. And when you bounce back, you can thrive even better than before.

And if you do the right things, you can even help others pop back up, stronger than they ever imagined possible.

Here are three tricks of the self-improvement trade that have served me well in this regard.



No, none of these quick tips are perfect.

And yes, some of them are hard – at least in the beginning.

But once you get them sorted, you’ll be amazed by how quickly you bounce back, especially come the next storm.

And oh yes, the next storm is always coming.

It’s just the nature of the beast.

Are you ready to ride her back better than ever before?

Then buckle in hard and read every word, cuz this ain’t Kansas no more.


1. Morning Ritual Mojo In The Dojo Of The Early Dawn Light


Here’s what happened this morning, even though I felt like jumping off the balcony.

I brushed my hair and teeth.

I went to my office.

I rolled my legs and hips to help tease out some bad tension (oh boy, does that part ever hurt bad some morning!)

I popped the trusty HumanCharger in my ears.

I meditated for 9 minutes.

I wrote in my gratitude journal.

I wrote in my Memory Journal and tested yesterday’s mnemonics for Chinese.

I drew a few Memory Palaces of places I’d encountered recently and/or excavated from my past.

I spent 15 minutes on some new Chinese.

I wrote 1000 words.

I sighed with relief. (Actually, I sighed with relief quite a few times, but it’s the last sigh that always feels the best.)


Mi Casa Not Necessarily Your Habit Chain


Let’s face it:

My little set of habits in a chain might not be for you, but here’s something I’m willing to bet:

If you take a bit of time to find your most important must-do-for-happiness-things and then do them BEFORE you turn on the dumb computer …


You’ll Win The Day – Every Day!


It’s really as simple as that.

And all you have to do is:

1. Identify what things are most important for you to do before you check messages or turn on the computer.

2. Carve out some time for doing them.

3. Do them.

In addition to feeling really amazing, you’ll wind up spending the rest of the day calmer. You’ll enjoy more presence, relaxation and basically what amounts to joy.


Pure. Raw. Joy.


So go ahead and write down a few things that you know you should be doing to care for your body, soul and your most prized learning goals.

Then dedicate some time each morning to doing them.

Repeat for 100 days. Use The Freedom Journal. It’s sure helped me in this regard.

And then write to me and prove me wrong if I’m wrong. But I don’t want to hear any evidence that you failed until after 100 days.

Because one day less than 100 and I just won’t be convinced that you really want the skill of getting back on track, even when everything feels destroyed.

2. Annihilate Every Single Morsel That
Doesn’t Serve Your Body And Your Mind


April and I went to an organic market a few Sundays ago.

I love these places because you meet all kinds of farmers, caffeine fanatics and entrepreneurs crazier than I’ll ever become – though I can hope!

And at one of the booths, I found myself talking with the owner about cherry season in Australia. Maybe it’s placebo, but for some reason, cherries really help with psioriatic arthritis symptoms.

Chatting away, I noticed a bottle of amino coconut sauce.

“Wow!” I said. “We’ve been looking for some of this for me because I can’t eat soy!”

“Have at it,” the man said.

But already my excitement had dropped. Reading the label, I discovered that the product “may” have remnants of nuts from any number of varieties.

When I pointed this out, he told me, “Yeah, the government forces us to put that on there.”

“I know,” I said. “And I’m the guy they’re trying to protect.”


Why Your Body Might Be Under Attack
Without You Feeling A Thing – Yet!


Sad, but true:

Most of the foods that are healthy for YOU will put ME in a wheelchair.

I know because one day I stood up from my desk in the second Magnetic Memory Method Headquarters in Berlin and broke my ankle.

At least … that’s how it felt.

I must have been in shock that afternoon because I still limped on it to the train and headed to see my girlfriend. Romance as usual. 😉

She was a nurse, and like many I’ve known, has a kind of blindness to health in the family. She only really noticed I was in hell at around 2 a.m. when she caught me crawling back to bed from a washroom. I was literally hands and knees on the floor.

Worse, I was bathed in sweat, shivering and barely able to express my pain in legible German.

So she called the house doctor and he said, between injections of painkiller and cortisol that I probably have gout.


The Invisible Destruction You Could Be
Making To Yourself Right Now


I found this diagnosis hard to believe, but low and behold, I learned over the next few weeks as I limped around on crutches that my uric acid levels had risen sky high.

My doctor and I looked at my diet and gout seemed unlikely.

Sure, there was a lot of salmon and beer at the time …

… but the rest didn’t stack up.

All the same, we tested and tested and tested.

Until we found no gout, but psoriasis arthritis instead.

But during the year it took to get that diagnosis, strange things happened …

In addition to having to stop playing in The Outside due to pain (I puked on stage from the suffering during my last performance), I started getting fat.


Really Fat!


And it really made no sense.

I was eating a diet against gout, after all:

A minimum of foods with uric acid. A maximum of vegetables. Everything I could think of to eliminate the burning pain in my joints.

Seriously. It is REAL pain. It feels like you’re stepping on your own eyeballs.


What If Even The Healthiest Foods Are Tearing You To Pieces?


To make a long story short, the doctor’s dietary advice wasn’t working.

So we tried antibiotics.

Then we tried them again.

And again.

Meanwhile, I was getting sicker and sicker.

Until I finally sought help outside of the realm of medicine. People who could really show me how to get back on track with diet and other things like sleep.

That’s a story for another day, but the long and short of it boils down to a food sensitivities test.

And after taking that test, it turns out that nearly everything I was eating to help eliminate or at least manage gout was aggravating psoriasis arthritis!

Pest oder Cholera, as the Germans say (Literally, if it isn’t the plague, it’s cholera, i.e. if it isn’t one terrible situation, it’s another situation equally terrible or even worse).

How To Perform An Elimination Diet


I’m actually going to do a full write-up about performing an elimination diet later on for you. But for now, it’s pretty easy to get started with taking foods away. And even easier if you have a list of potential culprits.

But as with all tests, the accuracy of the results needs further testing. That’s just the way it is.

And if you can find in your heart, soul and mind the lab coat we all keep somewhere in a closet, you’ll be just fine. Put it on in the laboratory of your life and start testing.

Then track your results.

If you haven’t got the resources for getting your blood tested, then here’s a revolutionary idea:


You Probably Already Know All About The
Crap In Your Current Diet – Eliminate The Garbage First!


Seriously, people. This ain’t rocket science.

Just today April and I had lunch with her aunt’s friend.

He was a cool cat, but also … an evil criminal.

Get this:

With us at the table was a boy of about 7 years.

And this friend of April’s aunt?

A practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

I saw his office with my own eyes. The real deal. Feng shui and everything.

But what does Dr. TCM ask this kid?

“Wanna a can of Coke?”



Crimes Against Humanity Everywhere You Look


If you want to feel better, just start with eliminating sugar.

If it comes in a can, a box, a wrapper …

Don’t eat it!


Because if you want stability in your life, chances are the reason you haven’t got it lies in your diet.

The foods you eat pass through your heart, your lungs and your brain.

And you want those things to be in top form.

So you can be in the best possible shape.

Or else you must simply accept the suffering you experience and all the living death you get.

Because you invited it.

3. Protect This Resource As If
It Were A Fight To The Death


At least three people have given me the same nickname throughout my life.

I don’t know how they all arrive at the same one. They don’t appear to know each other. They can’t have traded notes.

The nickname is:

Energizer Bunny

Okay. Alright. It makes sense.

But the problem is that if I don’t rest and sleep, the batteries only seem to get stronger. That’s just the way Manic Depression works:

Whereas others flag, I ramp up.

And keep ramping.

This dangerous upward spike is not unusual for people with Bipolar Disorder. I remember being locked up in the Clark Institute in Toronto with a guy named Lawrence, for example.

One day his heart pumped so fast … sweat poured off him in buckets. The nurses scrambled with taking his stats and injecting him with all kinds of potions … but nothing worked.

I don’t know what happened to him, but I remember reading later about how Manic Depressives were treated in the decades and centuries before lithium arrived on the scene. Stranger than fiction, perhaps, but apparently it was quite common for the hearts of these patients to simply give out during a Manic episode.

And I believe it. Sometimes my heart races faster than my mind.

And that, my dear reader … that’s racing fast.


How I Discovered The Simplest Cure For Insomnia In The World


No matter how hard your mind might be rattling your skull, getting to sleep is simpler than most people make it.

Don’t try to fall asleep!

Instead, practice being comfortable lying in bed doing nothing.

Trust me. This is the secret. And it didn’t take me long to practice it to the point of making falling asleep a skill.

I’ll spare you the whole story, but it was 2009 and I was doing dream recall research.

It was a personal thing. It would be two more years before I even thought about teaching the Magnetic Memory Method to anyone … or even calling my memory techniques such a thing.

But there I was, totally fascinated by memory and training myself to recall dreams. Lots of them.

The only problem with the whole mission was that I had to be sleeping in order to dream.

And so I cracked the code by learning Shavasana.

That’s just a fancy word for lying on your back without moving. You can read all about Shavasana on Wikipedia if you wish, but I recommend not romanticizing it with mysticism or woo woo.

It Really Is Too Simple For The Crimes Of Mysticism


And what happens is that, over time, you get really, really comfortable with laying in bed.

At which point, it doesn’t matter whether you’re sleeping or not. You’re still relaxing, resting and receiving the benefits of being in bed.

And if you stop waiting for it, sleep will often arrive through the backdoor sooner than expected.

Give it a try. I recommend a 100-day commitment. You know the drill – write to complain after 100 days if it doesn’t work for you!

Cuz you know the secret now, right?

It’s the guru stuff, remember:

Do or do not. There is no try.

Just commit.

Take yourself on a mission.

Make the mission long enough so that it means something.

Engrain it real deep in your body, your heart, your soul and your mind.

That’s how you bounce back after the storm.

Yes, that storm:

The Storm Always Yet To Come


Be prepared and your rituals will be there for you.

Aching for your return.

Ready to help you get back into form.

If you’ll let them.

Will you let them?

14 thoughts on “How To Get Back On Track After One Of Life’s Destructive Storms”

  1. Patricia dirickx

    Hey there Anthony,
    I already sent you the gist of my story on depression, CFS and fybromyalgia.

    Actually…..these physical roadblocks block the most important thing you have.

    That is your mind and the ability to use it. To me it came about as far as not recalling how to count to ten, and my handwriting resembled that of a respected 100 year old who desperately tries to remember the order of the words that once came natural to him…or her.

    But that’s not all…..the real struggle comes when you want to think about getting back on track again. It was at that point I realised I had to fight to get my teeth brushed, I didn’t see the point in getting dressed, in fact….the daily routine of what we consider “basic” scared the living daylights out of me.

    It boils down to this. I discovered your Magnetic Memory Method and discovered there were still some braincells left ! I regained my eagerness to learn stuff and started away…..learning Russian words and other things. I ordered the Freedom Journal…….only to be left baffled once more. I was forced to think about my number one goal and thought it was learning Russian and Scriptures etc. Big mistake. My number one goal FIRST is learning how to live my life again. Getting washed every day. Brushing teeth.Getting dressed. Getting out of the house. Cooking. And….getting some sleep.

    So again this post comes as a savior. My first journal will start out with simple things. I am confident my goals will grow on me. What you said about a gratitude journal : I ‘ll make it one of the first to-do things to pray and thank for the new day…….instead of hoping I wouldn’t have to live it.

    So much to say……but this’ll do for now.

    Again THANKS you so much for getting to the bottom reason of some problems. The answer is IN there.

    Oh heck, come here…. Hugs!


    1. Hugs are always welcome and appreciated, Patricia! And they’re especially appreciated when they come through the often cold “outer space” of the Internet.

      I’m so glad that you got a Freedom Journal and have decided to break it down to something direct. I had the same thing when I started with my first one:

      A huge, outrageous goal. But within a few days I had whittled it down to some much clearer and thoroughly focused. And 100 days later, phases 1 and 2 of the project were complete. I’m now 13.5 % into completing phase 3 – and the crazy thing is that I can give you that number with such certainty due to the nature of how The Freedom Journal works when you use it well.

      Thanks as ever for your conversation and keep us all posted on your adventure. Can’t wait! 🙂

  2. Anthony sending you healing balm energy so you stay your course. We met a few years ago on Serious Blogger and I have been on your email list. Somehow I was drawn to your newsletter today.

    Oh my I have been on the low impact sugar diet for a week now. I feel totally wonderful as all those aches and pains are gently disappearing. I thought I was eating healthy, but could not understand why I was feeling pain all the time. Not only that, but my weight just stayed where it was with still way too much tummy fat.

    I read a book on low sugar impact foods and diet. Not only after a week am I starting to feel like myself again, but I have lost 1 lb. Now that is huge for me because I have not seen a loss in 10 years and I tried everything. In 1 week my feet and knees stopped hurting. I don’t wake up at night with my legs aching. In 1 week! My skin is actually softer. Don’t know if guys care about that on them, but my hubbie likes my soft skin on me. So even he noticed.

    You are so right that sugar is everywhere and you have to read all the fine print on labels. I do that because I can’t eat nuts either,except almonds. I was surprised that bananas and apples are high sugar impact foods. Berries and oranges are not.

    Here is another amazing thing that happened in 1 week off the high impact sugar eating binge I was on. I have NO cravings for carbs. I could not live without some bread even the sprouted grain bread I was eating (that is a medium sugar impact as well as basmati rice). Now I hold my limit to 2 small portions per day of medium sugar impact carbs. Now the cravings are gone.

    Thank you for writing this because it is a good affirmation for what I have done.

    I found that research shows that sugar is the number 1 culprit of aging. It is what causes so many aging issues. It isn’t getting older. It is that we have put way to many years in of sugar eating. Amazing that it takes that much time to have impact on our health.

    I don’t feel depression, so I can’t comment on that, but it is easier to write in my gratitude journal each day. I also close my days acknowledging 3 things I am proud of for accomplishing.

    Thanks again for this. So affirming.

    1. So great to have this contribution from you, Susan! And always wonderful to interact with someone from the Serious Bloggers Only family. Your Miracle Grid videos are very interesting and cool! And the audio guidance reminds me a lot of some powerful audio I’d encountered some years ago that helped me a lot with what turns out was likely food-induced anxiety.

      It’s great that you’re feeling the benefits of a sugar purge. When my good friend (and fellow SBO member) Daniel Welsch suggested I limit – if not remove – fruit from my diet, I thought this was the craziest idea in the world.

      But it turns out that limiting my fruit intake has created such incredible focus and regularity in my life.

      And the cool thing with elimination when it comes to dieting is that it’s really not long before you don’t miss the foods that are gone. They’re not even a thought and the idea that they were ever in play comes to seem rather bizarre.

      I’m especially enthused to hear about your pain-reduction experiences. This is wonderful above all because so much presence and the savoring of being opens up when we’re not navigating the storms of suffering.

      Thanks for letting me know about these experiences and sharing them with everyone who visits this site. The more people we get thinking about the negative impact even seemingly healthy foods can be having on them, the more free time and playtime opens up for the dance.

      Thanks again and talk soon! 🙂

  3. I love this post, Anthony!

    I’ve recently cut sugar out of my diet and I’m taking steps to remove dairy as well.

    I’m doing this as an experiment, if you will, to see how the change affects my anxiety and mood.

    My moods have improved since starting lithium a year ago but you gave me inspiration about diet when we chatted on Skype and since then I’ve been really mindful about the ‘stuff’ I’m putting into my body so I’m keen to learn if changing my diet can help my surface level symptoms.

    Cheers 🙂

    1. Great to hear that you’re taking these steps, Russell. It’s incredible what can happen for you and I’m confident that you’ll experience very good outcomes.

      There are also the benefits on top of the benefits. Being mindful about food is also being mindful period, which is a great thing.

      So grateful you took a second to let me know you read this and can’t wait for your next contribution to the blog. Hope to speak again soon too! 🙂

  4. Thank you for this great post Anthony, you’re always providing so much wisdom to your audience! I hope that your journey towards a strong recovery is steadfast. In fact I know it will be as you already have the knowledge within you to combat this challenge, just as you have shown us in this blog.

    1. Thanks for taking a moment to comment, Juan, and for the positive wishes.

      Yes, everything is starting to snap back in place perfectly.

      And the neat thing is that all the needed tools and resources to take things to the next level are showing up as I need them.

      For example, I met a new friend recently who recommended Happiness Beyond Thought by Gary Weber. The book finally arrived yesterday and I’ve already gobbled up half of it and worked with some of the exercises.

      Very powerful and healing – I will be providing as complete a review as possible here soon.

      Thanks again and I look forward to your next contribution here in the near future! 🙂

  5. Hi Anthony

    Well, I figure one out of three ain’t bad:) I finally worked out that getting up in the morning and doing the most important thing first is essential to well being of any kind so i get up at 4.45 am 6 days a week and do just that.

    However, diet wise I still eat some crap. Not that much. I went to the doctor a few years back after having some tests and the doctor asked me about my diet.

    After I told him, he cursed and said I was hoping you lived on McDonalds and tinned crap. You’ve got the highest cholesterol level I’ve ever seen in all my years as a doctor, but I don’t think changing your diet will do anything.

    So sometimes, you just can’t win:)

    1. Thanks for this, Mark.

      That is interesting and brings us back to the whole question of whether beliefs shape the body and so forth. The stats on your cholesterol might be right on paper, but is the doctor’s interpretation that changing your diet won’t do anything correct?

      My point:

      You might be able to win, but it would take diligent testing.

      And he who tests almost always wins. If nothing else, we win ROA (Return on Adventure). 😉

  6. Hi Anthony

    I’ve tried to practice Shavashana in bed before, but every time I tried it seemed that I got an itch someplace. I would either leave it, and get all tensed up, or I would scratch it continuously. So I stopped.

      1. No, but I couldn’t keep practicing it if I was constantly moving. If you get something such as itchiness, what should you do?

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