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”!!!
Sometimes I think
I must be going through this
so that I can truly understand
someone else who is going through this…
especially when I can’t think of one good reason
to feel this way for as long I have have felt this way…
like a heavy sad blanket was thrown over me,
and it’s so large
I can’t find my way out from underneath it,
like the darkness within me
has consumed the light,
like my efforts are for nought,
like there must be something wrong with me,
because why else would this be happening,
like I could somehow choose to feel different
and yet I just don’t know how–
there must be some reason I feel this way…
Could it be that life is preparing me
to understand completely
some other being who feels this way?
Caught in the grip of my mood
I forget what else exists out there
in this world, in this life…
in a moment like this
I want to be out of my mind.
But there I am,
rethinking the same thoughts,
reliving the same experiences,
feeling the same sensations in my body.
And I believe that somehow I am broken.
I want to be kinder to myself,
kinder to the person who tries so hard to be good.
Step by step, ever so slowly, compassion grows.
Let me learn to listen to that gentle, quiet voice.
expecting it to turn up a certain way,
blind to what is there,
missing the mark.
Wanting to understand,
struggling with moods
asking for help,
waiting for changes.
Realizing this is it.
Taking a deep breath.
Trying to be more patient.
Trying to hang in there.
Not sure what the wait is for
or how long it will last.
Looking for a sign.
My mood mirrors the weather:
grey rainy day
inside and out
I wait for sunshine and spring
and remind myself
that happiness is here
not out there
whenever, wherever the sun shines.
If I must wait for spring to be happy
then I and those around me are doomed
for all of winter.
How can I overcome the weather of my mind
and find the sunshine within
In spite of the drear and the cold and the wet?
If you can answer that
I’ll dub you the smartest person yet.