Yesterday, I found myself in an ever increasingly foul mood. It was a combination of factors that led to this. I have been busy, tired, and run down. We recently wrapped up a (wonderful) family wedding and said goodbye to west coast family we had been hosting for several days. My oldest is a rising senior and the college process is in full swing. In addition to this, I still have a lot of question marks about what is coming next professionally and personally.
I guess it just sometimes feels like we are never short of decisions and choices to make, good habits to build and bad habits to break. And sometimes, well, when things all accumulate faster than we can navigate and process: we just get crabby. Occasionally, I offer my clients a strategy to use when it seems they are stuck holding the weight of negative thoughts or feelings. It involves simply adding "and that's okay" to the end of a thought or feeling. For example, "I have gotten NOTHING done today that I wanted to accomplish...and that's okay."
We must learn to be more gentle with ourselves, and figure out how to just let it be.
"What you resist, persists" is a Carl Jung concept/quote that I find particularly useful as well. All too often, we go into resistance mode when there is something painful, uncomfortable or simply that which is unpleasant. Our brains naturally want to protect us. Being in a bad mood certainly falls into this. No one enjoys feeling irritable, but sometimes it just happens. Yesterday, I was really there and in it, and no matter how hard I tried to resist it, it persisted. The combination of challenging life circumstances added up with some other things and it made perfect sense that I would feel this way. At one point, I actually said "I don't want to be in a bad mood". Resistance = persistence.
And when Jung's words finally dialed me up and called out in my ears "What you resist, persists"... I stopped fighting it. I just did the things I needed to get through the day. I had to dig deep and use my own tools. So after telling my family that I was in a grouchy mood, asking for space, laying down, venting, writing, doodling, reading.... I heard myself saying "Ugh, I am overwhelmed!" but then I also found myself adding "...and that's okay" By deciding to stop resisting, and inviting the yuckiness in, I was eventually able to let it go a bit. I gathered with some girlfriends*, initially making it clear I wasn't at my best, and just made space for it...and by the end of the night, that negative energy did shift. (*Time with good girl friends can be a magical healer)
When I woke up today, I paused. I noticed how I felt, what I was thinking. I observed the change from the day before. I was more clearheaded. I was a bit lighter. And I smiled at my ability to drop the urge to resist. It wasn't an immediate skill I was able to enact yesterday, but once I leaned into it and found it, I was okay. I knew it would pass. It always does.
So today, I got up, I enjoyed my coffee, I made a list, I took a mindful walk, allowing my body to move and push itself, and then came home to simply breathe and move on with the day.
Keep going everyone, it will all be okay.
Love and Kindness,