Many months ago, a dear friend of mine sent me a card with these words on it:
“You, whose day it is, get out your rainbow colours and make it beautiful!”
Traditional Nootka Song
I still have it sitting on my desk because it always makes me smile and, when I need it, gives me a bit of a jolt as well! It’s come in particularly handy over the past few days because, for whatever reason, they’ve been just some of ‘those’ kind of days. I’m sure you know what I mean. They’re the days when, no matter what, it just seems there’s a storm cloud following – not necessarily in full storm mode, maybe just moody and threatening. Either way, there’s a kind of heaviness and flat feeling that just sits there… you know what I mean?
The thing is, for me there has been no particular rhyme or reason behind it. The huge battles are finally behind me so, technically, surely in fact, there should be nothing to feel flat about… should there…? I learned long ago that the ‘why’ questions merely serve to stifle growth and create paralysis by analysis. So rather than plough through the countless possible or impossible reasons as to why I may be experiencing this temporary gloom, I’ve stopped asking things of myself in that way. Because, if I step back and think for a moment, I already have the answers. It’s been a long and bloody war, and while my life is unrecognizable compared with just a short while ago, there are parts of me that are bound to still be feeling pretty battle-weary! So instead of questioning why, it’s just about accepting these emotions exactly as they are – because they’re just another expression of me. And it’s ok.
What’s In A Question?
But, hang on there a minute, though. Am I saying that there is no value in asking questions? Am I suggesting that it’s better to just bury my head in the sand and carry on regardless? Am I implying that self-exploration and discovery is worthless…? No, I most certainly am not! But what I am saying is that the way in which we do things can deliver a whole array of completely different results. Do you remember the old 80’s song by Bananarama and Fun Boy Three? Well, in my personal experience, it ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it that determines our results.
So – instead of asking myself why I was feeling a bit under par, I decided to focus on what might help me to feel better. It didn’t mean that I ignored how I was feeling – far from it. In actual fact I took the time to explain to my reflection exactly how I was feeling (without asking myself to justify “why”) and allowed a couple of tears to fall in the process. I didn’t use the exercise to go even further in to a ‘downer’ I just used it to accept the way that I was feeling and to reassure myself that it was ok. “Yes, I’m feeling a bit low, but hey, that’s ok! It’s just how I am in this particular moment – all is well!” It sounds such an easy thing to do, but trust me, it’s taken me years to perfect that skill!
I decided that something that could help would be to talk with people I knew would understand. One such person was a friend and teacher (thank you, you know who you are) who told me about a book called “After The Ecstasy, The Laundry” by Jack Kornfield. He suggested that perhaps because of all the huge positive opportunities that have been coming my way over the past couple of weeks, perhaps dealing with the day-to-day normality is partly responsible for my drop in energy. You know what? I think he’s right. And taking that on board helped to settle some of the spinning in my head – and I happily acknowledged the increased peace that happened as a result. Remember that I had directed myself to find out how I could feel better, rather than why I was feeling out of sorts? That served me well because when these more positive sensations started to grow, I was more able to accept them rather than question them for their appropriateness or my worthiness. Does that make sense…?
Another thing I decided to do (inspired by the card I talked about at the beginning of this post) was to get out my art materials. Painting and drawing is a hobby I have enjoyed since I was a child – art was my subject after sixth form, although I couldn’t complete my degree because I fell ill. For many years my art stuff has lived mainly untouched at the bottom of an old wooden chest. Today, though, for the first time in a long while, I felt inspired to do something creative. And this time I made the conscious decision that I was doing it for me. I would not beat myself up or feel guilty because I ‘should’ be doing something else worthwhile. Nor would I judge whatever creations came out – good or bad. Nope, instead I would just enjoy the drawing and painting for what it was. I decided to feel good about what I was doing, and good about myself as well.
So I got out my rainbow colours and decided to make my day beautiful. And you know what? Just as Bananarama sang, it wasn’t just what I was doing (painting) it was how I was doing it (with the intention to feel good) that I think helped me to produce some pieces today that I’m really pleased with! So now, not only did I feel good while I was creating, I can also look at my pictures and feel pleased with the result – a constant reminder that today “the girl done good”. Double whammy – bring it on!
You know when things just ‘fall in to place’…? Well, as I was checking the source for the quote I started this piece with, I found that there’s a song that uses those very same words. It’s by a group called Wonderful from the album “Wake Up To Dreamland” – if anyone’s interested this is the link to their site, and the song is track number 5 “Rainbow Colours”
So come on, sing a long with me:
“Hey you, whose day it is, get out your rainbow colours!”
You know I like to encourage people to stand up and join in with the journey? Well I read this week that in order to inspire others we do not have to be consciously healed or whole. I read that in order to join the band, to speak up, to have a voice, to let others know that they’re ok and they’ll come through, the most powerful thing is just to share what’s happening for us right now. To share honestly and authentically. To tell it as it is – warts and all – to the level that we are comfortable with. And it struck a chord. Because I believe that this is what we all already do on this site. We are all sharing our stories and sharing ourselves. I do believe that we are already making a difference. And I also believe that the more we consciously band together with the intention of bringing more people along on the journey, well, then I think we can fully expect miracles. Don’t you?
Thank you, and with love.