Generally speaking, I’m cool with feeling less than my positive, cheerful self. I know that no emotion is a “bad emotion,” and that feeling a little off every now and then is just part of the human condition. Part of being me.
But this particular stint of a not-so-inspired mood had lasted longer than a typical PMS cycle (sorry guys), and it was impacting my creative energy. So I tried some of my usual strategies for getting my mind and spirit back in the game — making lists of things I’m grateful for, indulging in guilt-free naps, spending QT with the hub and friends.
But last week I was finding it hard to even start my grateful list, which I then felt guilty about (because if there’s one thing I’m clear on, it’s that I have a lot to be grateful for). I self-coached, hung with friends and the hub…even indulged in an extra trip to the frozen yogurt place around the corner, but the mood still didn’t lift.
So I decided I needed to call in the big guns. So I set up a phone session with Rena Rachar, a fabulous coach I trained with, and last Friday we talked about what exactly was going on with me. While Rena held the space for me to just be me, without judgment (oh yeah, did that feel good), we uncovered the thoughts that were actually behind my blues.
I’ll spare you the gory details, but I will say this: the thoughts creating the most stress for me? They were centered on my belief that I should know better than to let this stuff bother me…that I didn’t have any right to be less than happy. And it was that self-judgment that was weighing me down more than anything.
Unhealthy feelings + self-judgment about those unhealthy feelings = continued unhealthy feelings.
I decided it was time for me to get out of the spin cycle.
When I got off the phone with Rena an hour later, I felt a little lighter having made that connection. But I was still swimming around in the murky waters of my dirty thinking.
So I made a decision. I decided to give myself a break. To allow that part of me that was feeling blue to have its due, without judging or squashing it before it let its grievances be heard.
And as part of this giving myself a break, I decided to spend the rest of the day playing — playing hooky, playing music (way too loudly), playing with my son, playing my guitar.
As I did these things, I had another a ha moment: For the past few months I’ve been neglecting a big part of my self-care. Yes, I was covering many of the bases — running and exercising, going on regular dates with the hub, watching reality TV with my girlfriends, and spending time in nature — but I was forgetting about a biggie. Namely, spazzing out.
I’d been completely neglecting the part of me who performs entire Broadway musicals in her living room to an audience of two (the cat and the dog) and grabs her boy and swings him around wildly to the sound of Jai Ho from Slumdog Millionaire. The one who gets lost in singing and playing guitar until her fingertips are near bleeding and she’s completely sapped of energy.
My spaz attacks (people who know me well might refer to them as epic) are a huge part of how I release stress, nurture my soul, and stay connected to my creative core.
And I think it’s high time I bring them back into my life in a big way. Like, maybe they even belong on my calendar or something.
Well, it’s certainly worth a shot.