Monday, October 24, 2011

If You've Got a Case of Monday Morning Blues

Until I decide I won't, I am penning, these blog posts in support of my ongoing sacred journey course,“Creating a Life of Contentment,"  which began Sept. 15. For one entire year, we'll be traveling together as intimate companions: to relax, let go and rest into Love; to discover the bliss of our own life. You can learn more about the program here. 

Weakness or Wisdom? 

“Some mornings are tougher than others,” I said to my husband in reply to his early morning question, “What’s wrong?”

It was a gloomy morning. Dark, windy, rainy. The third such morning in a row. No evident sunrise. Just plenty of dark clouds on the horizon.

I am a sunshine-driven gal so when we have multiple mornings of very little light I can get a bit “down.” It takes me a while to get “up” so I can proceed with my day. It may also take some spiritual tools and I am very glad I have them.

We all have days like this, don’t we? When rising and greeting the day feels heavy or like a chore? It takes some umph to get going and pointed in the direction of our best selves. This certainly doesn’t mean we are “bad” people or not as spiritual as we could be. We are human—human beings having very normal feelings—and it can take some time to get back into the groove of living through our true identity.

Which is light and love and joy and gratitude—“the virtues of the Spirit," as I call them—and they can appear seriously dim when the ego is present.

That’s all it is, you know, this downhearted stuff: the voice of our human self, the ego, speaking louder than the voice of our true self. At least this is how I perceive it ...

I received a letter from a reader the other day attesting to this very thing. She expressed how difficult it was for her to “naturally” find the light in any given moment. That she had to consciously bend herself in that direction and, if she didn’t, the sadness she was feeling (a great deal of loss in her life recently) would break her wide open.

Good, I thought to myself. You know what to do. Point yourself toward the light. Push yourself if you have to. I certainly understand what she’s feeling. I have been there too. We all have.

But, why would we feel abnormal because this is how our mind works? This is what it means to be a human being. This is what I would say to her ...

This is how we respond to hard times, gloomy mornings, challenging news, until we have “rewired” ourselves; know ourselves inside and out and can respond immediately to ego-based feelings with a spiritual tool like breath or self-compassion. Until then we will likely lay down in the lap of the ego once again and stay stuck in sadness or despair.

And this is also why it is so very important for us to have spiritual tools—mindsets and practices—easily within our reach. As close as our breath. Or a yoga mat in the corner. Or an uplifting book on the coffee table.

We reach out and grab a hold of what works. Using a spiritual tool when we are feeling bad is not an act of weakness. It is an act of wisdom.

We can notice the sadness, recognize it for what it is, and make a new choice—a light-filled choice—so we don’t tarry long in self-imposed darkness.

That bluesy morning I grabbed hold of my own tools and put them to good use. I lit a candle. Turned on the CD player. Spent some time with a precious and life-affirming book.

Within five minutes the clouds lifted. Yes, it is still cold and rainy and dusky outside by the inner fire has been re-kindled.

I now saw see seagulls navigating the gusts. Bright yellow mums in the garden. Words lovingly written upon a page.

The Buddha-smile in my heart had returned.

It can be so for any of us. It simply takes intention and know-how. And I know you know how or you wouldn’t be here right now reading these words.

So use your tools when you need to. Lean into the light. Smile like a Buddha and trust that all will be well. Because it will. 

 "We carry a center that is always returning.
~Mark Nepo


Rose - The Center of My Self said...

This is such a wonderful, wonderful post, Jan! I'm reading A New Earth and working on ego, so these words resonated with me. We all have our "cloudy" days as part of the human experience. The challenge is to not judge ourselves negatively (ego is judge), but to apply self-compassion and look for our tools, as you say. Sitting, breathing, listening to chant, going out for a walk (weather permitting) - these all work wonderful for me.

One Woman's Journey - a journal being written from Woodhaven - her cottage in the woods. said...

Could relate to this post, Jan.
When the sun is shining I seem to be full of energy.
With more cold, cloudy and rainy days - I will have to use all of these special tools.
Thank you for reminding me...

Janice Lynne Lundy said...

Rose, I appreciate your comment and analogy. So true! Our cloudy days can be quite self-imposed with various mind states. Thanks for sharing your tools that work. :-)

One Woman, yes, I understand about the sunny days and energy. I wonder if this has anything to do with aging. Hmmm.... I am glad you have your tools too. And even with those, some days are easier to navigate than others, yes? That is why metta is so helpful. :-)