I didn’t feel myself this morning, I felt grumpy and easily irritated and emotional. Maybe it’s the phase of the moon or the changing season or mercury retrograde. We do get to blame just about anything that is off-kilter on mercury going retro on us, don’t we? Can we blame the petrol crisis on a planet in reverse or is that one all on Boris?
At yoga, I took an oracle card, feels rude not to. The message declared that I am a rock star, debatable considering that I can’t sing, dance or play an instrument but okay I’m listening. I am a million different things at a million different times. I am me; I am me with no apologies.
Instead of focusing on my breath and having my mind body and soul working in total unison throughout the class, which is what yoga is all about by the way, it’s not just about toning and stretching and standing on your head in your latest pair of Yoga Leggs you know. I found myself distracted by the rock star card and who even am I? More importantly, who was the self I wasn’t feeling when I opened my eyes today and why don’t I like this version of Mandy?
I was listening to Joe Rogan the other day and I think he is brilliant because he respects people’s differences; he loves to question and debate and agrees to disagree. I love how he craves to know people and what makes them tick, He can talk for England but he listens just as well which is a rare quality. He doesn’t seem to shy away from or judge his guest’s dark sides or his own. He commented on the complexity of being human, on our constant evolving from one minute to the next. How there are so many different versions of us; or perceptions of us.
How we show up is determined by our emotional well being which is determined by our mindset in regards to outside circumstances. Anything from a rainstorm to a dying relative (both of these things are out of our control) and a thousand scenarios in between can help decide which version of you will make an appearance and how you will interact with others. Does the more volatile, hungry, tired version of you make the wisest choices, probably not? Is that how wars are declared and marriages end, just bad versions having heated conversations? I suffer, you suffer, we all suffer is that how it goes?
I am a million different things and my choices, decisions and the me that you get will be determined by a million different reasons. Am I starving, does my backache, is my child making good life choices (Dr Phil said on Oprah that you can only be as happy as your saddest child!), have I pissed off my husband, offended a friend, am I scared or am I fearless, bitter or satisfied, rested or knackered, abundant or lacking? Calm or crazy!!!
Even though I know happiness is an inside job and outside conditions should not affect our ability to stay calm and peaceful I have not yet been able to achieve this enlightened state of being all of the time. Buddha and God know I try. Are we all so obsessed with our outer packaging, changing and improving and masking what is underneath so that we only have to see and like the version that stares back in the mirror? Maybe.
Am I a wife, daughter, sister, auntie, niece, friend, mother, hairdresser, leggings seller, dog lover, counsellor, cleaner, cook, yogi, finder of lost things, lover of books, people pleaser, empath, seeker, gardener, secret activist, over-thinker, business partner, spiritual soul being human? Am I a rock star, what am I? At yoga Kat tells us to do the hot girl dance, I can never find her, I think she’s lost.
I am not even the same mum to each of my kids for they require different versions of me, is the girlfriend that I once was now gone; completely hidden by my full-on wife body armour, or is she still in there; she was probably more fun! I know I can’t be the same friend to everybody, and that works both ways. We give different bits of ourselves away daily; wear different disguises whilst being the same person, it is complex and quite exhausting if you think about it. Everyone really likes nice Mandy. I like her best.
We don’t like witnessing the stressed-out scared versions of ourselves or others. So we hide them away or give pep talks to the people we care for claiming that everything will be alright. And sometimes it will be, but other times it won’t. I think that it is important to remember that acknowledging that the frightened me, that angry, frustrated version is just as relevant as the calm happier one. It is not a crime to have an off day or to feel overwhelmed in times of crisis neither is it a crime to support a friend by speaking words that aren’t just positive affirmations that all will be well. Sometimes you just need to say for fucks sake this is too much! Vulnerability screams weakness, creating a version of you that is under attack, the dictionary uses words like defenceless and helpless to explain its meaning; it also uses the word exposed. I think it’s just raw honesty, leaving fear nowhere to hide. The exposed version is naked but free. That version is courageous.
Even grieving seems to have some imaginary expiry date, like why aren’t you over that by now. Grieving is a way of processing something precious and irreplaceable that you will never get back; so honour that loss. Who taught us to be such good suppressers of feelings; I seem to have missed something; I think I was off school on one of my many days off. Don’t cry, such bad advice in my book, it’s a therapeutic release but nobody wants to be caught out ugly crying. No one likes puffy red eyes. It is much better to declare that I am fine. That is a very popular version of who I am. Everybody loves a fine girl; she’s no trouble at all.
No wonder so many people in our culture suffer from anxiety and depression. It seems very popular to be mental health aware, but where are the solutions to the growing problems? Should every school have an onsite counsellor resembling the slightly nuts redhead in Glee? Should every surgery have its own Dr Phil? Did I mention that I am also an idealist, a wishful thinker?
Or is it good to be fine, do we just call on more troubles by constantly thinking and talking about what is wrong instead of what is right? Law of attraction is powerful, hard times are like buses they seem to all come along at once, one thing after the other. They say we attract to us the energy that we are vibrating, maybe don’t let the sad girl out of the closet too often just in case.
My daughter asked if I had a good day. I said I felt funny, she laughed and said I have days like that. But she doesn’t beat up funny Lydia she just sits with her and lets her be, (actually she gets in bed and watches Netflix) and then waves her on. She’s bloody wise my daughter. My sensitivity to not liking anything that isn’t bright and breezy including my own mood is something to work on. My need to fix things and cheerlead is sometimes irritating but I can’t seem to stop, that version of me is very single-minded. I am good at making allowances for others, always the seer of both sides of a story. I am the quiet chatterbox. I am a million different things as I navigate myself into another decade, I wonder who else that resembles me is to be revealed.
I think that life is tricky, beautiful and magical one moment, terrifying and tragic the next; with a dash of boredom thrown in for good measure. Our own individual experience is a million different things; unique and special to us all. I hope everything indeed does happen for a reason, that one day it will all make perfect sense, our existence on this crazy planet. I hope it’s not just random and meaningless. I hope there is a strong version of you that appears when needed and a mischievous, silly one that comes out to play. I hope the brave version can admit when they’re scared and the calm one radiates peace. I hope we can recognize that sometimes frightened you masquerades as an overbearing bitch. I hope that we can all see the magnificence of being so multi-faceted and complex and can learn to love whoever is calling the shots. Each version gets its time to shine, just like a rock star.
Ps. we do have rock star leggings available to buy, they are fabulous. Did I mention that I am also a mum that sells yoga clothing?
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