Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pick Your Poison

On any given day, any one of us may feel a little doldrumy. No, that's not necessarily a word, but it is now as far as I'm concerned.


I'll go off of the assumption here that most of us would not rather be in a bad mood. And of course, those of us who would aren't consciously aware of it - why would anyone ever choose to be glum?

Er, it comes from habit, but that's for another post.

I'm also not talking about sweet melancholy - that emotion when, in a healthy balance combined with all of the other colors that make up our fluid states of being, creates a gorgeous, complex and ever-changing mandala of life experience.

There isn't a thing in the world wrong with some healthy melancholy. In my experience (I am very well versed from years of practice), when in a temporary context, it can be enjoyed as a way of slowing down. If it's really acknowledged and accepted as a valid emotion (rather than immediately suppressed, also from habit and a cultural belief that anything other that a smiling face is "bad"), it coats the world before your eyes in a sort of delicate veil, making the light burn differently and giving credence to the sensuousness of curling up in a warm blanket for a quiet contemplative time, just for yourself. Janet Luhrs even touches on this type of melancholy in relationships, mainly as a way of accepting your lover's moods using the lens of unconditional love rather that being stuck within the constraints of expectations, in her book Simple Loving - a must read for all of us who are pursuing the ever-elusive "perfect relationship".

But I've digressed again. The original point of this post was to talk about choosing to be joyful - or if that's too big a stretch, choosing to adopt a relaxed and accepting "go-with-the-flow" attitude.

Today's trick for doing that is to think back on some of your most proud achievements, or even just your ultimately lucky moments.

If you ever won a contest that you gave your all for, or created a truly beautiful piece of art, or aced the interview and got that perfect job you were wanting, or finally got up the courage to start a relationship with the person you'd been admiring from afar...

It doesn't matter if by now the contest winnings have come and gone, or if the art is sold or just doesn't hold that sparkle for you anymore, or if you've moved on from the job or the lover.

Do you remember how you felt when you got the news and you felt those mind-fireworks that, with their little explosions, brought waves of joy, satisfaction, and pride?

Do you remember how great you felt, knowing that you'd achieved something that you had been working for, whether the reward was expected or not? Remember that sense of self-confidence that surged within you because you'd proven that you could achieve that thing that you'd been reaching and grasping for?

Revel in that memory for a moment. Swim in the feeling, let it permeate your body and mind.

Now, return to the present. No matter how under-the-emotional-weather you're feeling, or how much that old goal has lost its luster once it was achieved, remember that you did it.

You still did that thing that made you so proud and happy - you still have all of those qualities that were affirmed to you by reaching your goal.

That's who you are.

All that has changed are your thoughts.

Just think - if you could monitor and choose the internal winds that drive you, what you'd be capable of....

Now, what are your goals for the day?

Today's whiteboard quote:

"In life, you can never do a kindness too soon because you never know how soon it will be too late."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

1 comment:

Stephay said...

AMEN! I like this one so much, I forwarded it to some friends :)