A funk, it creeps in and takes over like niggling flu symptoms before a full blown cold. It can be triggered by any number of things, but once it has it’s grip it can certainly be a bugger to get rid of.
Definition – A funk: a lack of motivation or low energy, a dejected mood, to have the blues, to be depressed or upset. Origin: derived from the flemish word ‘fonck’, meaning disturbed or agitated.
So here it is… a full recognition of my current diagnosis. I am in a funk! And today I’ve embarked on the process of beginning my latest defunktification!
A funk can be brought on by many things in life. My recent funk has most certainly been born out of a big, fairly unexpected move. This move, although I’ve wanted and welcomed it, has resulting in a complete disruption to what I considered my ‘daily routine to be centred and healthy and happy’. Along with this I recognize that I have been trying to bury my apprehension about starting all over again, or as it happens to be, starting a whole new thing, a new direction, a longed for image of my future life and my future self.
The weirdest part is how uncomfortable and unfamiliar such a familiar place is. This giant move has taken me back to the town I grew up in and though I feel I should be comforted by the familiar, the family, the friends, it doesn’t quite feel like the gloved fit I was envisioning. The unsettling feelings of being so very unsettled are alive and well.
As a yoga teacher and wellness professional it feels really ugly and hypocritical to fall into this funk trap. I can regurgitate the same nuggets of insight and mindfulness I would offer someone else, and yet, I have known in my bones for the last 2 weeks that I have not wanted to hear or accept these things to any degree.
Our human capacity to want to dwell and linger and stew in our own shit, and lethargy, and self pity continues to bewilder me. I help people feel better in their bodies and minds for a living damn it! Why can I not make myself feel good right now!? There’s nothing wrong, but I’m stunted, I’m stalled, Im in a funk.
So what to do? Here’s my five point plan to reclaim access to myself, to defunktify.
1. Get back in the Driver’s Seat.
Aldous Huxley once said: “Life is not what happens to you, but what you do with what happens.”
We may all be entitled to a mini pity party every now and again, but ultimate recognition that I am the one behind the wheel of my own life is a pretty big deal.
First and foremost I must take a big step back and recognize that although I have been thrown out of my element there are possibilities all around me (all around each of us) everyday.
Henry Ford said: “If you think you can, or think you can’t, you’ll always be right.”
2. BE PRESENT
Gawd, how many times in my life will I relearn this one. This really is the one and only lesson I really ever need. Let the present moment be whatever it is without needing to affect it. Without needing to judge it or change it, prefect it or hold onto it. This does not mean we don’t need to be active participants in our lives, that we don’t need to take responsibility for our actions. It simply means that we must offer the best of ourselves and strive to let go of the outcomes, to stop overthinking ourselves to death.
One of the greatest lessons I have ever learned is that most the negative garbage that can creep in and crowds my thoughts isn’t actually even true.
Rumi said “Put your thoughts to sleep, do not let them cast a shadow over the moon of your heart. Let go of thinking.”
So my action step here… Stop and breath! Don’t listen to the jerk in my brain, listen to the soft flow of my breath.
3. Get moving
My yoga mat is the place I know myself the best, perhaps that’s one of the big reasons I’ve been avoiding it lately. What I’ve found helpful over this passed few days is the way I can entice myself back to the practice that reconnects me by taking a different approach, just walking. Walking, and the synergized movement it offers, allows me the opportunity for that mind body connection I know I need. I’m writing this as step three, but in a way it’s more like step one. In order to get myself back in the driver’s seat I needed to walk first. Today, it was my walk that led me back to my mat, and it was on my mat that I have finally found myself again through a big dose of breath and some sweat.
The late BKS Iyengar said “Penetration of our mind is our goal, but in the beginning to set things in motion, there is no substitute for sweat,”
4. Feed the good with good.
It always stems back to food one way or another. If we’re feeding ourselves crap we’re likely to feel like crap. I haven’t been eating crazy crappy, but I also haven’t been working very hard to start my day with good food, or pep myself up with good snacks. I really must be in a funk… I love food.
Today I had the time to make myself an amazing breakfast. Farm fresh eggs and a blueberry, spinach & almond-coconut milk smoothy. Come on! Who doesn’t want that!
“The food you eat can either be the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison” – Ann Wigmore.
5. Let the love in.
When we’re feeling our funkiest it’s pretty common to want to retreat and hide, for me this is a really big one. But if I want to beat the funk, I gotta let the love it. I’m going to spend this coming week trying to surround myself with people I love you and people I know love me back, I’m going to try that reach out and touch somebody thing.
“I’ll lean on you and you lean on me and we’ll be okay” Dave Matthews
This isn’t my first funk, and I’m sure it wont be my last. In writing this I hope I may help my future self bounce back a bit faster when the clouds of funk-town roll in. What seems like common sense when you’re ready to get out of, or have managed to overcome a funk state, doesn’t always appear the same from inside it. I may take a while to reclaim my full vibrancy, but I trust in this part of my process as much as I trust in the fullness of my entire story. Feel the funk and move on!