29th January 2014
‘Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.’ Helen Keller.
Sometimes I feel broken. I ache to come home, crawl into bed and stay there for a few years. Just to get up in the morning seems like an insurmountable effort. As if I’m unexpectedly being asked to climb Mount Everest. It’s all too much. Kill me now.
When I’m in the ‘black slump of doom’, it’s hard to imagine a better life, let alone a fantastic, extraordinary life. I’m surrounded by the darkness and I am quick to give into the whispers of destruction and negativity.
Until a slither of light sneaks through.
Because really the doom and gloom stuff gets seriously boring, pretty quickly. You know the feeling you get on a hot summers night when you’re caught up in the bed sheets, and you just can’t get comfortable? That’s the doom and gloom wearing thin. It’s not long before I realise that I’m feeling way too sorry for myself, and that lying in bed under the doona, with my feet caught up in the sheets, really isn’t going to change anything. It won’t fix me. If anything it will probably just make it worse.
I’m not suggesting that there isn’t a time and a place to crash out and feel a bit blah, but staying in that bed for too long is just a waste of your precious time. You are way more worthy than that. And as they say – there is nothing to gain by playing small.
So let’s say you are feeling a little bit broken. How do you get yourself out of the bed of doom? How do you stop playing small and find your inner spirit again?
Here’s a few ideas:
1. Get up
Honestly, nothing can change with you lying on your back, alone, under the doona. Nothing. You will just get more of the same. Doona, darkness, gloom, tissues, fear, doona, darkness, gloom…well you get the picture. Get up and wash your face, or have a shower, brush your teeth and make a drink. Whatever you do, DON’T turn on the television! It’s just full of more doom and gloom, and you don’t need to add it to your little mound of darkness!
2. Sit in the sun
People who know me will be laughing in shock. I’m not really a sun girl and usually tend to avoid it like the plague. But even I know what’s good for me. A little bit of sunshine or a bit of fresh air is good for your soul as well as your vitamin D levels. If it’s good weather in your corner of the world, find a spot to sit in the sun and breathe. Perhaps you have a beautiful garden where you can take off your shoes and sink your feet into the soft wet grass? Or a park you can walk to, that is close by? Maybe you have a balcony or a small courtyard that gives you a view of the street? Close your eyes and listen to the world around you. This is the world that you are very much a part of.
If it’s the middle of winter, perhaps you have a spot you can sit near a window with a view? Try to sit somewhere, where you can see the sky, and remember that there is a whole universe outside of your home. Wrap yourself in a warm blanket or shawl and reconnect with the world.
Grab a lovely chair or a stool and sit for 15 minutes in the fresh air or near a window, just breathing. Breath in. Then breathe out. Re-connect with your body. Remember our friend Thich Nhat Hanh? Breathe in – now I am breathing in. Breathe out – now I am breathing out. Hey! You’re breathing! Not bad!
4. Tell yourself you are worthy
You may be a little bit broken at the moment, but this time will pass. You may be tired, sad, cross, whatever is happening right now, this time will pass. Because even though you are broken -you are still good. Even though you are broken – you are still worthy of a daring adventure. You are still worthy of an extraordinary life. You are a majestic, beautiful, broken human being, and you are worthy and still good.
5. Remind yourself about the good stuff in your life and write it down!
Spend a good 15-30 minutes writing down what is good in your life. What are you grateful for? If this is an unexpected challenge, then start small. Perhaps you love the tea cup you drink out of every morning? Or maybe you are grateful for your mum who is always calling you to see how you are? Perhaps snuggling with your cat is the best thing in your life, or sinking into your partner’s hugs…
6. Make a promise to yourself
Once you’ve reminded yourself to be grateful for the good stuff in your life, it’s time to make a promise to yourself. Today you are going to make one promise and stick to it. You could promise yourself that you will accept who you are/ find something good and beautiful about yourself every day/seek the good in people around you/learn to breathe/get out of bed everyday/stand up for yourself/ teach people around you how to love you/write down one thing you love about yourself every day for 100 days… Whatever your promise, dare yourself to take on the adventure!
7. Find a totem
I love this idea. Gala Darling introduced it when she developed The Radical Self Love Project. Basically you want to find a totem that will remind you every moment of every day about your promise to yourself, and what you are trying to achieve for yourself. It can be anything! A necklace, a ring, a photo, a drawing… I have 3 different types of totems depending on what I am doing. If I am focussed on caring and compassion, I wear one of my heart necklaces. Some days it’s about focussing on my promise to follow my dream, so I pull out my butterflies. I have butterflies in my diary, on my notice board at work and around my computers. Most of the time though I wear my angel wings. My wings remind me why I am here on this earth and my promise to myself to live a life that is worthy, a life of integrity, that makes a difference to everyone I meet. You can make your totem anything that is meaningful to you. Elephants, scarves, skulls, or stars. It can be anything! But make sure your totem is something that you can wear, or put in your wallet, or see all the time, reminding you to behave like the free spirit your were born to be and stay focussed on living your daring adventure!
So I’ll leave you with this today: