Ah, funks. How brutal they can be.
I hit a funk two weeks ago, and it felt low. I felt uninspired professionally, low energy with my kids, I was spinning out mentally about some trivial social drama, and I had a multiple days on end where I couldn't bring myself to work out.
I know, none of it is life threatening. But still, it was hard to shake and my inability to do so made me feel even crappier.
I kept trying to will my way out of it with positive talk.
You're good, Brie. It's all in your head.
I meditated, went on walks, tried to be forgiving of myself -- all the right things. But still, my slump prevailed.
Emotional and mental health mean everything to me. I bathe myself in happy self-talk, inspiring books, positive relationships, walks in the woods, blah blah blah.
Yet sometimes, no matter what I do, my shadow side pins me. I am not as great as I aspire to be. Things are not coming together in the way I want them to. It's hard to be patient, present, positive, energized all the dang time.
In a culture obsessed with productivity, outcome and projected images of perfection and happiness, it can feel completely uprooting to hit a slump, feel low, or like you are failing in some way.
One of the most insightful talks I've attended recently was with author Cheryl Strayed. The title of her talk was: The Humble Journey to Greatness wherein she shares her experience of getting real with herself.
In it, she says something that at first feels funny, and at second, profoundly helpful: "Don't let your dreams ruin your life," she utters. She talks about the reckoning that takes place when we must face who we aspire to be, and who we actually are.
She discusses the heartache we cause ourselves when we obsess over what we need to be, have, or accomplish, as opposed to being exactly what we are right now. This striving for perfection can paralyze any moving forward.
There is an incredible quote by Flannery O'Connor that resonates:
"To know oneself is above all, to know what one lacks. It is to measure oneself against Truth, and not the other way around. The first product of self-knowledge is humility."
Reaching high is an incredible thing. I do not intend to stop being ambitious or striving for greatness in my own right. But instead of tethering myself to perfection and some future attainment, I like the idea of just doing the best I can today. And forgiving myself in periods when I suck.
I donno about you, but I find that at the end of any period of suckiness, comes some kind of breakthrough. When I come out of it, I always have a little diamond of understanding that wouldn't be as shiny had it not been under pressure.
All slumps are impermanent, so long as we don't attach our identity to these lows. This truth rises again, and again, and again.
We will move through it.
So here's to being who we are today, even if that means we didn't get as much done as we set out to do, or we could have been more patient with our kids, partners or clients. Here's to doing the best we can so that instead of being paralyzed by perfection, we may continue to grow, slumps and all.
Break Your Funk:
1. Forgive -- Allow yourself to feel poopy and treat yourself as you would a 5 year old child. Be kind.
2. Impermanence -- Remember, this too shall pass. It is merely a phase.
3. Normalize -- We ALL go through funks and are are susceptible to every human emotion. YOU ARE NORMAL to feel this way.
4. Decide -- Choose to place that funky feeling back on the track of constantly running human emotions and CHOOSE a different, more supportive one.
4. Forgive -- For real this time. Forgive yourself. You deserve the same kindness you offer others.
Could you stand to be gentle with, and love yourself a wee bit more? Than please...
March 16-23, 2019