Thursday, August 03, 2006

Thursday, August 3: Feeling Bad, Feeling Good, so What?

You know, sometimes we are just a little too precious for our own good. We feel bad and it’s as if the world has ended. No, the world hasn’t ended, our good mood has. And if we demand that we instantly “snap out of it,” sometimes that might work. I’ve even written my little wise pieces on the possibilities of looking for the happiness inside the unhappiness. Which, actually, isn’t “snapping out of it.” It’s seeing a bigger picture.

Like in Feldenkrais, where we don’t see the “sore shoulder” as the end of it all, we see it as the beginning of understanding how we can operate in a more whole and holistic and functional way, so here with our emotion, we can see our “feeling bad” as a beginning to understanding all sorts of things. For example: how our thinking is compounding as well as pretty much demanding that we feel bad. Another example: how we get our attention way laid into thinking there is something “wrong” because we feel bad. Another example: checking out what is missing in our lives along with this feeling bad, as in: not good enough food, or enough sleep, or time in nature, or quiet time, or following our own breathing time.

Wow, this is getting circular, which means we may be getting close to some truths, because life is more like a spiral or a hologram, where everything impinges on everything else. So our “feeling bad” can be seen not as one more bit of evidence that we are all messed up, but as a bit of a web of forgetting the present, forgetting to follow our breathing, forgetting to sense ourselves, forgetting to relax, forgetting to do things we really like to do, forgetting to let our attention be fluid instead of fixed.

So if we feel as if we are in a “fix,” we might well be. And then what? Well, in Feldenkrais we like to look for at least three options. Feel bad about being in a fix, that could be one.

Feeling angry we are in a fix, or sad, that’s just more of the same, isn’t it, but it’s the option we often take.

A second option could be the do gooder option: think positive, try to plow down the bad feeling with the affirmation bulldozer. “I am wonderful and deserve to have a good day.”

This lately, has gotten a super model, in the DVD “The Secret,” which I’ll talk about more some other time, but for now I’ll just describe it as Norman Vincent Peale meets the Mary Kay Cosmetic/Avon ladies meets EST meets pseudo-science as per What the Bleep. Anyway: think positive and you’ll attract a million square foot house and a flashy car and a couple of trillion dollars a year income. So that’s the super Boy/Girl Scout approach to feeling bad.

And I guess I’m advocating something like curiosity and awareness and humor. See this as a joke we are playing on ourselves and go about seeing how we’ve rigged it this time to pull our own rug out from under ourselves.

A fourth option is to move. Yeah, take a walk, do some pushups, jump on a trampoline, do an Awareness through Movement lesson, do some yoga, putter in the garden, take out the trash, chop wood/ carry water.

Oh yeah, a fifth option here, the Zen option: chop wood/ carry water and be present. But, heck, if I’m present I might forget what the big deal was. Oh, well. Worse things have happened.


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