The most painful thing
is the disappointment I feel
when I’ve been impatient with my kids,
when I can’t step up,
be the adult
and just keep going.
I get stuck, hung up in my pain.
It blinds me.
It makes me say things I don’t mean,
and then I have to live with myself afterwards.
I’m tired of this feeling,
so tired of the old way of thinking.
I have worked so hard to overcome it,
but it’s so easy to slip into the old habits.
PMS is back, and this is when it’s the worst.
Will this ever change?*
Or am I doomed to be Jekyll and Hyde forever?
*I guess I can look forward to menopause?
It’s a struggle,*
but only because
it’s always been a struggle.
If I can change my mind,
if I can see a different way,
this might become
This is an opportunity
to slow down,
to the rhythms of my body-mind,
honor the self
that tries so hard to be good.
Can I love her
when she wants to scream?
Can I love her
when she is tired?
Can I appreciate
everything she has been through?
Instead of doing
what I’ve always done,
can I try something new?
If nothing else,
has given me an opportunity
to come home to myself
if only for this moment.
I want to find the Self
in all the swirls of emotion,
in the body aches and fatigue,
in the loneliness—
and I want to love her fiercely.
*Ladies out there, give me an AMEN if you too find yourself accosted with darkness and mood swings in conjunction with your moon cycle. It has been this way my whole adult life. What helps you manage to make it through those days of darkness until the sun breaks through the clouds again?
And guys out there…when your ladies get this way, have you found a way to help them make it through, or do you run in the opposite direction? I mean…it is INTENSE, after all, and hard to understand the sudden changes in temperament. My recommendation: buy her some flowers, run her a bath, make her some tea, and tell her you’re there for her and that you love her no matter what.
Why am I so grumpy,
Why do I keep snapping at my kids?
Why is my house such a mess?
Why do I feel angry at my husband again?
Why does my life feel so disorganized?
Why am I so disappointed in myself
and everything about my current situation?
it’s time for bed.
It got me again today,
creeping up slowly
and then suddenly taking hold…
the depression was back,
and there was nothing
I could do about it.
Everything made me cry—
seeing families together,
imagining myself alone
in the midst of all these people.
I even cried at Chili’s
when I took the kids there
for a birthday lunch for my daughter.
After all this time
and all of these practices, I’m still wondering
When will this pain stop?
The wind howled and howled all day.
This evening in yoga class
I challenged my students
to identify the story they told themselves
that was holding them back.
I also challenged them to discover
the practice that would facilitate
their living into the biggest version of themselves.
The wind kept howling just outside the studio window.
It was a mournful sound, a sound of
deep, inconsolable sadness.
I heard the voices of those who had gone on,
the voices of those who regretted deeply
not living the lives
they were born to live.
Now only the wind speaks for them.
I’m waiting to feel motivated
and then I remember
that motivation comes
as I begin to do what needs to be done.
Feelings follow behavior.
If I were to wait
to feel like I wanted to exercise,
I might never step outside my house.
But if I put my shoes on
and walk out into the sunshine
(the wind, the rain, the hot, the cold),
then my body feels good
and my mind says,
Exercise! What a great idea.
Don’t wait to feel like you’re in the mood
to do what needs to be done.
Just begin. Take one small step.
Put one dish away.
Put one shoe on.
(Then the other.)
Once you begin,
the good feelings come.
Now go and do what needs to be done.
You can do it!
A cure for the days when it’s cold and rainy
and you’re in a funk:
A game called “One Hundred Things I Love.”
If you’re with a friend or several,
you can take turns completing this sentence:
Just keep going around and around
sharing what you love
until you can feel your mood lifting.
If you are by yourself, take a sheet of paper
and write I LOVE in huge letters at the top.
Then start thinking of all the things you love,
and write them down, one by one.
It only takes a minute
and you’ll feel a million times better…
no more room for an ick sauce funky mood!
hot chocolate on a cold day
kittens sleeping on my lap
kissing my children’s sleeping faces
wading into a cold stream in the summertime
watching a sunset over the ocean
writing in my journal
playing my guitar
a crisp, juicy apple
the sound of rain
walking in the woods
a gentle breeze
the smell of holly blossoms
riding my bike
and on and on and on…
Isn’t life AWESOME?
If you don’t think so,
play “One Hundred Things I Love”!!!