Photo: S. Sputzer
What do you think about when you’re feeling down?
I believe there are two ways to look at this question … both answers having a solution tucked inside of it. The ﬁrst would have the question posed as such: “What is on your mind when you are feeling down?” The answer, of course, is … I am thinking of how things should be and how I would like them to be any way but the way they are now.
I am thinking this is never going to end. I am going to be stuck in this job forever. I am thinking I am not smart enough, dumb enough, weak enough, strong enough, good enough, bad enough, happy enough, sad enough, pretty enough, ugly enough, old enough, young enough …
This list could go on forever and quite often does.
The point I am attempting to make is that the ego requires that we be more than what is in the moment.
You could ﬁll any word into the he statement, “If only I were ______ things would be better.” In one situation I am too young to succeed and in another I am too old. But, this is delusional thinking. It will only get you down and keep you there, as well as requiring others to be more then what you perceive them to be.
Now, when posed with the question: “What do I think about to get me out of feeling down?” The answer is always to grab a hold of the ego with both hands, look that scared, little girl straight in the eyes, then pat her on the head and tell her “Look, it’s a tough day … ride the wave, keep your chin up … This too shall pass.”
And, it inevitably does. I restructure my thinking the moment the chin drops down, the line between the eyes starts to deepen or the shoulders start to slouch.
I try and look at life as if I am ﬂoating down a river. I will ﬂoat past a beautiful forest with cute little bunnies, squirrels and deer watching me pass. I will gaze at a sky of birds and planes ﬂying to far off, exotic places. I will ﬂoat past deep dark spaces that are the home for snakes, spiders and all that is creepy.
There will be days when I look to the sky and all I see are dark luminous clouds that can only promise me cold, wet rain. But, when I realize that I am simply passing through and that I am not finding a home in any of these spots, then I can ﬁnd the beauty in it all. Then I can let my gypsy soul ﬂoat down the river of life without fear or judgement and simply acknowledge what it is I see.
With out the downs how could one ever recognize up?
The rain in our lives has us longing for the sun and once the sun starts shining again it feels better than if it had never gone away.
These ups and downs are our dance in life. It’s something we signed up for long ago and we simply must take the turns and keep dancing until the dance card is all ﬁlled up.
I don’t know about you but I have a lot space left on mine.
Sarah Stevenson, a.k.a., The Tini Yogini, is a Certified Yoga Instructor with a degree in Behavioral Psychology, serving Orange County California through yoga classes and teaching life affirming workshops. You can visit her here.