"Somedays you just have to create your own sunshine." -- Unknown
"Pain hurts. Sometimes important things come from sitting with [our] own pain." -- Lynne Namka
Have you ever found yourself in a funk for no apparent reason? You wake up one morning and the light simply appears dimmer and your motivation and inspiration is buried so deeply within that you cannot muster even the slightest bit of energy? Yet you cannot connect any clear or apparent reason why you're feeling this way? There might be a number of reasons why we experience a "funk," the most important key to remember is that our "funk" is a normal process and is a part of our journey. Sometimes life just doesn't feel like a bowl of cherries. So, a "funk" is as much a part of our path as "fun," and pain is as powerful and expected in our lives, as peace and pleasure. Keep in mind though, a "funk" is not to be confused with depression, which is a complicated and painful disease. Therefore, if someone is clinically depressed, medical supervision and psychotherapies are available to provide comfort and support.
However, in this blog, I'm referring to the often mundane pendulum of joy and pain that we may experience inexplicably in our everyday lives. The emotional ebbs and flows that we don't have to ignore but can recognize as parts of ourselves that are calling out for our awareness and attention, and a normal process through life's journey. If we take the time to closely examine our "funk," we might discover some powerful messages and transformations that are happening within us. A "funk" can serve as our teacher. It may appear only to reveal parts of us that we have kept hidden.
So the next time you find yourself in a "funk," here are some powerful tips to help you explore the etiologies of your "funk," to help you move through the "funk," and to discover new things about yourself, your path, and your own growth and transformation.
Before considering the following list, be sure to first address any changes to your health, diet, or lifestyle. Are your biorhythms imbalanced due to changes in your sleep patterns, or are there new responsibilities at home or at work causing you to feel a "funk"? New stress invited into your life? Any changes to your health? Hormonal imbalances?
1. The first step to understanding anything about ourselves is AWARENESS. Simply take a moment and notice your mood and ask pertinent questions. What's bothering me? Did anything new or sudden change in my life that I'm not aware of consciously? Am I going through a major transition in my life? Is this an anniversary period of a difficult or impactful past life experience? Then explore whichever thoughts or answers come up. Don't allow the "funk" to own you. You can take control over your own "funk."
2. MEDITATE. Sit with your thoughts and feelings in stillness and investigate the dominant thoughts you're keeping. Don't attempt to run or escape. Sometimes you have to sit awhile longer and allow your thoughts and feelings to arise from your unconscious mind, because the source could be deeply buried from within. It is the repeated telling of our positive and negative thoughts to our conscious and unconscious minds that create our feelings. So, a "funk" may arise because you're unconsciously choosing a repetition of painful and negative thoughts. Meditation and sitting still with our thoughts and emotions will help us uncover what might be bothering us on an unconscious level.
3. JOURNAL YOUR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS. There is so much healing power in writing. When we allow ourselves to simply write, without fear and judgment, but in a free flowing style, we have the power to discover new qualities, beauties, and sufferings that are within us.
4. CRY! Yes, let out a good cry. Don't hold onto any heavy emotions. Sometimes a "funk" just appears so we can experience a cathartic cry and let go of any old emotional baggage we're still storing. Release it! Let it go. We are able to go deeper in our own healing when we release the darkness from within. Spirit desires for us to constantly grow and evolve. So, sometimes pain must show up in order for us to transition to the next level in our spiritual path.
5. PRACTICE GRATITUDE. It's easy when we're in a "funk" to bemoan about all the things that are going wrong in our lives. Yet a subtle and powerful practice of gratitude, focusing on the good in our lives rather than the bad, can quickly shift our mindset to more positive feelings. Write down what you're grateful for on those dark and gloomy days. And consider cultivating an ongoing gratitude practice. It's simply remarkable the shifts gratitude can create in our minds and in our lives.
6. LISTEN TO MUSIC. Music is simply powerful. It connects to us on a soulful level. Our mood can immediately alter upon hearing the rhythmic sounds and beats of inspirational music. Music that touches and moves us at our core can serve as a conduit for us to explore and release emotions. And also elevate our vibration to higher thoughts and emotions. Music can bring us to euphoria.
7. TURN YOUR "FUNK" INTO FUN! That's right... shake it up! Sitting in our emotions can be heavy so we can balance between sitting still in our emotions with seeking fun and pleasure. Whatever delights your soul, do more of that.
8. RIDE IT OUT! Eventually a typical "funk" will pass and we'll finding ourselves feeling like our old selves again or even better. Give time for your "funk" to pass. Let it be and refrain from ignoring it or pushing too hard through it.
Remember that being in a "funk" from time to time is a completely normal passage through life. If however, you find that you're not moving through it after several weeks consider contacting your doctor.
I wish you much luck on your journey. May we all learn to embrace the "funk" just as much as we embrace the "fun."