Yesterday was one of those days that began just fueled by resentment and grumpiness, mostly because I was still tired and didn’t feel that well and it was windy and colder than I, ruler of the universe, deemed it should be on April 21st of this year.
I bullied myself through the morning with alternating pep talks (you can do this, yay!) and sheer bribery (get it done and you can take a nap). It wasn’t until I got on the bus and proceeded to make such a horse’s ass out of myself and the bus driver pointed out exactly what I had done on the loud speaker, that the day got better. There is something about laughing at yourself that can lift any mood. It helps when you have oh, say, hey 20 other people in on the joke. I wound up jumping on and off the bus for five hours, having conversations, paying attention to the world around me and when I was done doing what I had to do – I went home and took a lovely nap.
The back of my hand is bleeding profusely as I type this. MK has taken issue with my typing right now. Excuse me for a second.
Ok. better. I have a bandaid and she has been bribed, fawned over and is back in bed.
So anyway, I had one of those “duh” moments while riding around on the bus. The kind where you figure out something that you already know but you do it in such a way that it is “rephrased” and suddenly makes sense. I was thinking about duality and balance, which has been quite the recurring theme of late. And it occurred to me that my biggest (one of my biggest) mistakes is in this “oh, I am having a good day/bad day thing.”
I was reminded yesterday that there is no such thing as the “all good day” or the “all bad day.” That at any given moment, both “good” and “bad” are present. Where you get tripped up is clinging to one and making it more important than the other. If all I do is acknowledge the stellar parts of a day and do not recognize what still may be troublesome in that same day then I cease to deal with that trouble and it can escalate. One also sets oneself up for a “crash” because things do not go one way all the time. It is in being able to balance the recognition of the simultaneous presence of good and bad that one learns to enjoy life. You can revel in the parts you love, and still maintain a grasp on the parts you don’t love so much so there is never that feeling of “the other shoe dropping,” anxiety lessens, fear drains away because there is never a moment when you are hiding the totality and reality of the living experience from yourself.
I have found it makes the sweet things sweeter, the knowledge that even with all the else going on, they exist right along side it.
Debbie Ford (I know, back to her again, but I just tortured my BFF with the book) has an exercise that is a good way to bring oneself back to being authentic and present, a requirement in building the balance of being able to handle the duality of life.
She tells you to stand in front of a mirror, look yourself in the eye and tell your stories. You know the stories she means. The ones we tell about ourselves to people and have told so often we know which parts they will find funny, which ones sad, which we tell for sympathy, what ones we tell to establish ourselves – as you are telling the stories it becomes painfully obvious how much we “perform” when talking to other people, even our intimate partners, rather than communicate with them openly, honestly and with a sense of presence. The exercise reveals quite quickly the masks we have chosen to wear.
Debbie Ford promises, and it is true, that if you do this exercise once – you will never tell “stories” again.
c.2011. Cassandra Tribe. All Rights Reserved.