Crafting Gentleness

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I'm sad and irritable too, yayhay! :)

Hi lads,

Can I be sad and irritable too? ;)

I am sad and irritable actually, and I've been trying to practise being okay with that. It's taken me a lot of years to come to realise that I actually feel, that I live with a body that tells me things about how I'm doing, and I'm starting to be able to process what that means. It's going to take a while ("and when you think you've got it, you haven't").

It has become very important for me to put the feeling of the feeling before acceptance of the justifications that I throw at the feeling. What do I mean? ... "I feel sad and irritable. Why? That's because ..." I'm trying to hold myself at that point. I don't need justifications or explanations to be able to sit with my sad-and-irritableness, and most the ones I would come up with in a sad and irritable state are likely to be a little inappropriate. I am out of balance, out of whack, discombobulated (great word, and yes, it's really a word!), in a place/with a feeling that makes it harder for me to practise the kind of gentleness that I would like. Harder, but hopefully not impossible, otherwise the world would be in a terrible state of chassis (oh, wait ...) ;)

So I'm a little adrift. There's a tension sitting in my chest, tightening my breathing just below my throat. My body is stiff (I'm about to head out for a walk, actually, as the morning sun on the mountains (ignore the blogger timemarks - I'm on GMT) is just yelling at me (gently!)), my eyes are puffy.

I like working with the idea that resistance, conflict, uncertainty, confusion, anger, sadness, irritability, bodyslump all present me with opportunities for listening more carefully, more appropriately to what's going on with me and my situation. Enter and turn. I can step into the bodyslump and just hang there, and then dance in there a little.

I'm trying the following thought-cycle to see how it works for me ... feel, identify, acknowledge, respect, respond, participate, and then back to feel.

Feel - sit with myself, be as still as I can right now, listen to my body, listen to the chatter of my head ... listening does not mean waiting to speak.

Identify - how am I feeling? how am I thinking? what have I been saying? what have I been doing? what are my colours? what are my tones? what my intensity? What have been the effects of what I have thought, said, and done? (suspending the question without seeking an answer as such ...)

Acknowledge - Yo, Feeling! Thinking! Saying! Doing! How are you doin'? Glad you could make it! Hey, that's a cool dress! ;)

Respect - You know something, you're okay, Feeling, Thinking, Saying, Doing. I'm fine with the ways that you happen as you happen to be. Do your thing, no pressure from me, wherever you're at is fine right now.

Understand - How does my situation happen to be this way and not some other ways?

So what's up, me? Have I been eating well? Um, no. Hmmm. Ah well, maybe I should just eat a bit better and sit this slump out for a couple of days. Maybe I don't need to find another cause or justification for this, but there are plenty banging at the door to join the party-pooping.

Might I be tired? Um, I would guess it's a major factor. Not eating well leads to not sleeping well ...

Have I been giving myself space? Um, no. I've been using the TV a lot as a narcotic distraction. Hmmm. Maybe it would do me good to go for a walk right now. But I have work to do!! It can wait. My world will not collapse in the thirty minutes it takes to go for a walk.

What's important to me? When? Where? How? With what effects? Who gets to say? Is my thinking in this situation Supermarket thinking? Did I take it off someone else's shelf and eat it without looking at the ingredients?

Okay, so I've taken stock of myself a little. Now I can take stock of the situation a little more. What's going on? How does the situation happen to be this way and not some other ways? Who else is involved? What's important to them? When? Where? How? With what effects? Who gets to say?

Respond - I don't feel great. I want to change that. I can change that. I am going to change that. Feeling, Thinking, Saying, Doing, you're okay, but you can come on board with this helpfulness deal, right? One order of gentleness okay with ye? You want sesame seeds with that?

Participate - I always-already make a difference, how am I making a difference? How might I be contributing to how I feel? How might I be participating in the dynamics that I am trying to counter, in and through the process of trying to make it all better?

Have I been thinking about my thinking? Is my thinking at the moment disrespectful of myself and my situation? Is my thinking dislocating me right now from what is actually happening? Am I ramping up, turning up the intensity of my feeling with the ways I am making sense of my situation right now?

Am I assuming that I should stand and fight, arm myself for a struggle? Am I trying to run away? Am I freezing, feeling paralysed? Am I trying to fix a problem? Am I trying to fill a gap, or saturate the scene? Am I simply giving in? (Am I, in other words, trying to do one of Fight, Fly, Freeze, Fix, Fill, or Fold?)

Do I have to think in any of these ways? Could I think about all of this some other ways? Could I maybe even simply relax and work on the feeling part and just let that sit there for a while? Maybe I could work a bit more helpfully at the feel-acknowledge-identify-respect part?

Could I go for more Organic thinking rather than heading straight to the Supermarket all the time? Can I be more careful about where my thinking comes from and what it does to my body?

What's been important to me? Am I expecting too much of myself or other people? Am I trying to control myself or others in ways that are disrespectful? Am I respecting where others are at and what's important to them? Maybe I would like them to think like me, but am I trying to make them think like me? It's okay for me to hope that things might be different, but am I leaving room for things to be different from the difference I would like to make?

Am I allowing myself space and time so that when emotionally intense situations arise I can be calm within myself and robust, in a gentle sort of way? Have I been distracting myself from where I'm at and how I'm at?

Do I trust myself emotionally as much as others seem to trust me this week? I'm not sure, but I think it would be good for me to settle and feel with more ground, more feet on ground, more plantedness. I'll be a more helpful listener for others if I listen to myself and my situation more respectfully. Respect. I think that's the hardest bit. Balancing the 'everything's okay' with the 'I can make a helpful difference'. There's a balance there, I can feel it. Sometimes I feel it a bit far away, that's all.

Not quite as sad. Still irritable :) Off to walk, listen, and feel. :))


  • That's so cool that you can walk yourself to that place... both mentally and physically.

    Me, it's just one thought, bed! I sleep, 2 mins, 20 mins, 2 days... I get up and I'm fine.


    By Blogger Soooz, at Thursday, 24 August, 2006  

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