Self-Work is Hard Work

I recently moved to Los Angeles…sort of.

Upon arriving in our new condo, my brother and I discovered a significant mold growth along the baseboard.

Contractors, sleaze-ball property managers, and two mucous secreting frenchies later…the self-work had begun.

I’ll spare you the details, but let me just say this – if you see mold get out…fast. If you see it, you’re also breathing it.

It’s hard to make this kind of work fun…

Acceptance, patience, go with the flow when the flow is taking you somewhere seemingly shitty…tough stuff.

But, I’ve often found that if you’re doin’ good, hard work that tests your patience and levels of acceptance and you’re not havin’ any fun, you can feel confident at least about the fact that you’re likely doin’ some damn good work on your self in the process.

Going through difficulties extends the patience meter, like elongating the life bar on an avatar in a video game…it may not fill it at the same time, but it grows your future capacity for patience.

When times get tough as they will for all of us, remember a few tools in your arsenal…

1 – It’s all very temporary.

Even the worst will pass, and sometimes it will just get tougher so don’t miss this moment because it sucks.

Don’t wait till the house is on fire to dig the well – do the Outlaw Yoga 30 Day Plank Challenge if you want to manually up-level your perseverance meter before the next challenge strikes.

2 – Be Grateful.

You could be that guy…on the bus bench over there. Remember when your parents (or, yourself) used to say (or, do), “Finish your food, there are starving people in China…”

It can feel impossible – and is sometime dismissive – to simply remember that there are people worse off than you. But it can also be a productive step towards actual gratitude.

3 – Don’t feel guilty for falling apart

This important, illustrative realization has helped to carry me through this and other ordeals. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or to look less than capable – even the best of us get dealt a shitty hand once in a while.

4 – Pause at times, even amidst the shit storming around you and push the reset button…take a hot bath, or shower. Indulge in a poorly timed nap…do whatever you need to do to take better care of you. The results you get from your work will be exponentially better for it.

Top 5 best things to do to fuck off from everything else around you and do just for you

  • eat a donut
  • drive a long ways for something indulgent
  • move your body
  • watch some trashy TV…seriously, your guilty pleasure that someone else would (or does) make fun of you for
  • _________ (yours will be more beneficial than mine)


Top 5 healthy ways to fuck-off

  • drink a green juice – seriously, gag on some kale and you feel healthy as fuck
  • do a coffee enema
  • move your body
  • eat some sushi
  • ________ (again, fill in the blank or your “yoga” dies on your dusty mat)


It’s easy to arrive at a place and time where our work looks a little harder, and to just not want to do it…but as Thomas Edison is said to have said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”

Fortunately the world is still big enough if you just want to try and outrun your habits to new places…but you can’t outrun who you are. If you just keep doing the ‘same ‘ol, same ‘ol’ everywhere you go, then you know exactly where…and who’ll you be when you get there…the same one you are right now.

Which may be cool. If so, then for god’s sake stay the course.

But, especially if you go to some of the same places all the time like I do, then the math gets a little more finite and precise about exactly what that’ll get you…

At the end of the day, it’s our dramas that persist in making the game of life a hard one to resist, as well as a hard one to resist resisting in…like plank, it really only starts to get interesting as it gets more difficult.

If you find yourself enmeshed in some hard work, great! Embrace the suck, unearth the opportunity and make some choices that help fuel the body and mind to push on through.

From the La Quinta Inn with love…

Good luck, Yogis!


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Justin “Jud” Kaliszewski is the best-selling yoga teacher and renowned creator of Outlaw Yoga. Author. Artist. Adventurer. Take his class NOW at and Find his writing and art at and his presence all over the internet – for an outlaw, he’s shockingly easy to get ahold of.