Today is the last day of my five reasons to smile challenge, and it is actually with weariness that I put fingers to keyboard tonight, at the culmination of a long week. However, there’s no way I’m flaking out on the last day when I’ve hitherto been so disciplined!
It has been a really good exercise for me to focus on all the positive things in my life over the last ten days. It has certainly helped me to recover more speedily from my week of insomnia and negative, destructive emotions, and to put these emotions into perspective, and move again towards the positive, forward-looking path that I have been otherwise exploring and enjoying of late.
I have come to the conclusion that, although often we think we have dealt with certain past traumas and sadnesses, sometimes there still lurk remnants of the upset in deep, dark corners of our soul, which can then be triggered to emerge spectacularly, and seemingly irrationally, from the deep; kind of like molten magma exploding from the depths of Earth’s bubbling core, obliterating a previously peaceful vista with its accompanying noxious dust-cloud.
I’ve learnt that it’s important to acknowledge these feelings and allow them to run their course. Suppressing them will not make them go away. Meditation has been hugely helpful in this respect. Even though I haven’t been able to avoid the physical manifestations of my intense emotions, I have been able, at some level, to rationalise the feelings, and have had faith that they will pass, that the storm will eventually recede, leaving still waters once more. And that is exactly what happened in the end, and I can’t help feeling that I have emerged the other side, yes, slightly dazed and confused about the whole thing, but somehow wiser, more self-aware and definitely stronger. This is the slightly pretentious passage that I wrote about my experience recently:
‘Sometimes it’s necessary to go deep into the darkest corners of our being, unlock the door and let the beast out, allowing it to run amok through our body until it tires itself out and curls up meekly in front of the inexhaustible fire that burns at our core.’
Or, as Carl Jung more succintly put it:
“The foundation of all mental illness is the avoidance of legitimate suffering.”
In other words, we all suffer at times, and we need to acknowledge the suffering and allow ourselves to process the negative emotions fully so we can then lay them to rest.
Anyway, given that the ‘five reasons to smile’ challenge has helped me to tame the beast and lay my feelings to rest, here are my final entries below… 🙂
- My new Thai yoga massage mat arrived today – yet another postal pick-me-up and exciting sign that my new, dream career is unfolding before me – and it feels good.
- I finished my job at the council today, which is a reason to be sad in some ways as I will miss seeing my lovely colleagues on a regular basis and am slightly nervous about leaving the safety net of a familiar job and good life-work balance to launch myself into the unknown. However, it was a reason to smile also, as a new chapter begins, and I am a great lover of new chapters. My life is like a Margaret Atwood novel with its many bite-sized chapters – I’m hoping it’s all leading towards the mother of all happy endings… 🙂 (Although, it has to be said, Margaret Atwood doesn’t really do saccharine…!)
- Running a one-to-one yoga session this evening, and having the guy commit up-front to ten more sessions at the end – awesome! I love teaching one-to-ones; it enables me to really get to know the student and their body, and help them to open up their tight areas and share the yoga love in a very personalised, tailored manner. It’s immensely satisying to see their progress and their subsequent growing wonder and enthusiasm.
- Meeting some girlfriends in a vintage tea shop in Leamington after work and having a good old natter and giggle. We realised that each of the five of us round the table was self-employed at least part-time, and decided that these meetings should be held regularly under the guise of ‘working lunch’ or ‘networking’ or similar. I handed out my new business cards to all present to justify this pretence, and in fact did actually meet someone who will be able to assist me with my first tax return, as I am feeling like an overwhelmed ostrich about the whole thing – you see, legit networking!
- That today is the last day of the five reasons to smile challenge! Don’t get me wrong, it’s been a blast, but anything ‘daily’ can seem like a chore after a while, no matter how much you enjoy doing it, and especially when it needs to be done at the tail-end of the day. It will be nice to go back to letting my mind roam free across my blog pages, and posting about whatever random thoughts are in my head that day, even if these are sometimes not bubbling over with positivity. That said, I hold firm to the idea that thinking positively will get us out of pretty much all fixes eventually, and I will certainly continue with the principle, by finding the fun, joy and gratitude in each new day.
Thanks for sticking with my relentless Polyanna positivity over the last days – I hope I have managed to make you smile somewhere along the way… 🙂
Never forget: life is short, life is precious, life is good!