Physically Present

I’ve been grumpy lately. Actually, that’s not accurate. I’ve been down. I’ve noticed that these cycles seem to come and go. I wake up one morning and just seem to feel low for no apparent reason. And then my perspective shifts so that I am seeing everything with negative-eyes.

Which only serves to perpetuate my sadness.

I’ve learned that, at any moment in time, there are things that make me happy and things that frustrate me. The contents of the list might change but both lists are active at all times. How I feel about my day, and life, depends on which list I am focusing on. On the rougher days, I look at the “happy list” but none of the items seems to penetrate through the wall of sorrow. I feel like they are all fake or things that can be taken away at any moment in time. Whereas, on a happy day, the things on the “frustrating list” seem completely surmountable or insignificant.

While I know it’s about my perspective (or maybe hormones), what I don’t know is how to tip it from one to the other. What’s even more frustrating is that when I am in this not-so-positive space, I sometimes do things that disappoint me. Like eating things I know aren’t good for me. Which then perpetuates the bad feeling. So I get stuck in my own cycles.

Since it’s been more than a week, I am agitated and completely ready to snap out of this place. If I could force or shame or even cheer myself out of this place, I totally would. But none of those seem to have worked. So, this morning, I went to my intentions cards from the One Little Word, so I could see what I’d originally chosen for May.

It said “Physically Present:” Go outside. Breathe. Breathe more. Can you do more to be healthy? What needs attention now?

At first I thought, none of this is helpful. Then I thought, why not. Maybe this is exactly what I need right now. To get out of my head. And what’s the best way to get out of my head if not being more physically present? I’ve decided I am going to take long-ish walks every day this week. I’ve also decided to take two days off and be more physically present at some of the events at my kids’ schools and see if these help me get out of my head a bit.

So there we are. If you have these cycles and have ideas on what helps to snap out of them, I hope you leave me a comment. I am up for trying creative solutions at this point.

14 comments to Physically Present

  • I pursue a home yoga practice, and the focus on breath and presence, really dwelling in my body, helps me get out of my head, which I sorely need. (I sometimes realize that I am, on my own, having negative dialogues in my head that may or may not be connected to any real outcomes of real life situations. It makes me grumpy and down.) But time on the mat, in my breath and focusing on scanning my body, using my core strength, allowing the poses to open me up seems to break those cycles.

    Hope the week is filled with peace and presence for you.

  • I feel for you! I have these same things, but not as much now that I’m in my 60’s and past my monthly cycles. I can say… when I was younger and still had “that time of the month”, I really DID have horrible PMS or whatever it is! I would be grumpy, irritable, fly off the handle at ANY thing, and just feel down in the dumps. Then one day, I would be fine!

    Now that I’m older, I can still wake up on a day and for no particular reason that I am aware of, feel down and blue. I think sometimes it may be a dream I had. or maybe I do still have some sort of monthly cycle. Some of those days, I just go with it and try to read or watch a movie. I have found though, that if I MAKE myself do something that has been bugging me that I really don’t want to do, I for some reason feel better! weird huh? Sometimes I think my “to do” lists bogg me down so if I do something I have dreaded doing and get it done, that seems to lift me up.

    On the other hand, just pampering myself for the day sometimes helps too. just doing nothing, and trying not to think about things and like you said, sometimes just going outside and breathing helps. Hope those blues leave soon!

    • karenika

      I totally do that too Marilyn! In fact, I finally went to the bank today which has been on my list forever and it felt so good to have it done! thank you for the suggestion!! 🙂

  • Cheryl M

    Thank you for the words to reflect upon. I am currently stuck in a negative cycle, and your post reminded me that I do have a strategy or two up my sleeve for responding to this negative cycle. One is to practice metta meditation. Sending love and wishes of happiness to others brings me joy. Compassion meditation helps too. Plus, it always me to remember to give myself some compassion and patience (though not self-pity).

    Another strategy I use comes from the book Waking Up to What You Do. In this book, the author teaches about identifying the story behind our thought process; for example, a story I am retelling right now is that a person in my life has no faith in my ability to do my job. The next step is to identify the requirement attached to that story. In this case, my requirement is that everyone see me as competent, that somehow that defines me as a worthy person. Once I have identified that, I can be more conscious of my thought patterns and what is fueling my discontent and contemplate the what-ifs: what if i were not competent? What would happen?

    I have been stuck in a negative pattern, retelling this story over and over. I appreciate you prompting me to think more proactively, rather than feeling like a passive victim of my circumstances.

    • karenika

      you know what metta meditation has been on my list forever and i haven’t done it. i think maybe it’s time i try.

      i like your other strategy too! it’s like really looking at what’s behind/under the surface issue and looking at the bigger worry. And then asking what it means. what would i be without that thought? What it if were true, then what? all these questions are worthwhile. and answers are valuable.

      thank you for sharing with me. i am grateful.

  • Cheryl

    Yup, me too. Sometimes it lasts for a week which I detest and fight on an hourly basis.

    I read somewhere that if you play a song you really like and sing the words, it will help. For some reason, the act of singing (and dancing around the kitchen) erases the weird words in your head. It leaves you with a feeling of pure peace.

    For me it’s Elvis. I will play the CD from beginning to end, singing at the top of my lungs and about a third of the way through, I feel the peace settling in. Before Elvis, it was the BeeGees, especially Tragedy.

    Try it. It might be a quick fix.

    • karenika

      You know what? I did exactly that today and it really did help! Right now, for me, it’s a song by F.U.N. and it totally was a quick fix 🙂 thank you my friend!

  • Jules

    Ah hormones. Cannot wait til that stuff is finished with! I find that I have a few days each month when everything gets on top of me and I can’t be bothered to do anything. What I have discovered is that ranting and spilling it all out in my art journal gets rid of it all. And when I’ve finished, a good coat of gesso hides it all and I can make a pretty page instead!

  • I’ve been going thru the same thing! I was actually just in such a blah mood this morning and I literally pulled myself out by telling myself it does no good to dwell on things I can’t change and situations that are beyond my control. Life’s too short to be unhappy. I’m glad to see I’m not the only person going thru this. I find for me it’s good when I’m busy and when I have some kind of creativity in my life.

    • karenika

      yes busy-ness seems to help me, too. I am also thinking helping others might do the trick. so maybe i look for some opportunities to volunteer. thank you for taking the time to come share your thoughts. i am grateful to you for making me feel less alone.

  • Lynn Herrick

    I must really recommend yoga – I practice almost every day and it really helps to keep you level. I am General Counsel of a company, have three children and volunteer quite a bit, so I know how busy and crazy life can be. Yoga is an hour I give myself everyday – the meditation portion helps me analyze and solve complex problems at work, the physical exercise helps me sleep at night and the routine of it helps me stay focused in all areas of my life. Good luck.

    • karenika

      I do a daily body scan but I think I actually do it too early in the day. I am half asleep and am not really as present as I’d like to be. maybe the trick is to move it to later in the day. thank you for your yoga recommendation, maybe that’s worth a try too 🙂

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