How Do You Feel?
Something came up on the last Leadership Session that I realise I didn’t answer at the time…
What to we do when we feel low?
How do we get our mojo back?
First off, me too!
Right now my world feels very small. I’m home, no-one is travelling, even my final-year student son is home; no parties, no (irl) connection with his friends, just ‘online’ like, seemingly, the rest of the world.
It feels like my life is shrinking and so, I can see how it’s possible to project this into meaning more than it does--that my potential and the possibilities that await me might also be shrinking.
Perhaps the world really is shrinking??
Where is My Mojo?
It’s easy when we feel whatever our own version of this to want to change how we feel, to want to feel better, to feel alive or to recover something that feels lost and lacking.
There’s a couple of observations I want to make here, in relation to what’s going on for me and maybe this will help you see something for yourself.
Is the World Really Small, or is That Just My Experience?
First off, I know, fundamentally, that ‘the world’ is not small. Just because it feels that way to me, it doesn’t make it true or real. I only need to catch a glimpse of things around me, the email in my inbox inviting me to an innovative online theatre experience, the knowledge of future trips and travel and the ability I have right now to connect with anyone, anywhere.
The world is not smaller than it was, even though it feels that way to me.
The reason it’s helpful for me to know this is that I can see the difference between how I feel in the moment and what I do with those feelings.
Even when there’s a collective narrative that ‘things are bad’, we are all living our own personal experience.
‘The world’ is still out there, obviously, and just because I am having a temporary experience of limitation, means nothing more than I have a cloud pass across the telescope of my imagination.
I Don’t Like It, How Can I Change It?
The second piece of this, for me, is that it’s OK to feel how I feel. It’s OK to cry for a week, a year, a decade. It’s normal to experience the weight of all that heavy thought about things that haven’t happened yet, or that happened in a way we wish they hadn’t.
I get that there is, what seems to me, a preference, or a conditioning, that feeling good (often with a higher, more active, energy) is somehow better than feeling low, or being reflective. But that doesn’t make it something to aim for.
And sometimes we do the opposite and make ourselves wrong for feeling good,
How can I share that things are going well when I see friends so down?
Well, compassionately, one might hope.
I’m still having fun, coaching clients on what we are seeing through the examples in our favourite reality TV show, or, co-hosting a recent light-hearted and yet also serious training session on procrastination. (oh the puns were flowing…)
I don’t believe it’s possible to change it anyway and that the feeling, just like the cloud, will pass. Why give it any more attention and energy?
I actually quite like the feeling of being ‘at home’, being closed off, enjoying time with my guys at home and not going out of the house. It doesn’t feel like imprisonment, it feels like an offer to experience something different.
So, What Do I Do, Concretely?
Because I know this feeling isn’t a reflection of the world, then I don’t need to do anything other than follow my desires and instincts.
If I wanted to see my buddies I could organise some virtual wine and cheese evenings; if I wanted artistic stimulation I could respond to that invitation for the innovative Shakespearean evening. But it feels more like a time to talk one to one with friends, to say yes to helping someone with a training session, or helping my son map out his ideas for his thesis, or sign up for a fitness programme…
There’s a huge difference for me between listening to what feels like an authentic desire, and doing something to change the way I feel (even if the end result is the same), or to do something because I have a sense there’s a ‘should’ or a ‘need to’.
Sparkle Doesn’t Go Anywhere
We talked, on one of the recent events about resilience, about the idea that we have this natural inner sparkle, and sometimes it gets covered over, or we feel the shadow of our thoughts more heavily, but once that cloud passes we realise that the sparkle never went anywhere.
I think, if we can sit with what is, and not take it too seriously, we can find a deeper peace, and also we have the ability to be more present with ourselves, and with others.
And, maybe, that’s what it’s all about …
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Originally published at https://cathypresland.com on February 11, 2021.