Lately I have been a bit moody (my husband might say “very”). If I were not in menopause I would say it was PMS, but alas I cannot use that excuse anymore. So I ask myself; how can I feel so excited about my work one day and the next, question what I am doing? After all, I teach calm living–I should not feel negative, right? Wrong.
This is the human condition and as much as I do not want to admit this–I am human. When I allow myself the luxury of being human, life gets easier. The word compassion comes to mind. Christopher K. Germer says, “A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.“
One of my favorite teachers is Brene Brown and she highlights three elements in cultivating compassion.
- Self-kindness: Be warm and understanding of yourself.
- Common humanity: You are not alone in feeling this way.
- Mindfulness: Stay with what is rather than try to negate or obsess on your experience.
What I love about mindfulness is that you do not get lost in your feelings because you simply stay aware of what is happening without judgment.
What I realized about my mood was that as an entrepreneur, I spend a lot of time alone. There are times that being with my own thoughts all day is like going into a bad neighborhood–I should not stay too long or hang around there alone! This became clear as I went to a networking event later in the evening, and just being around community filled the well–it is the common humanity on Brene Brown’s list. It was not about the networking. When I connected with other entrepreneurs (talking to my dog only helps so much) and shared a bit about my experience, I felt better.
No matter what is going on in life, when you are able to cultivate self-compassion, awareness, and understand that you are not alone, your entire experience will shift. We are all traveling together in life. I venture to say that nobody is immune from the shared experience of struggle.
You do not have to muscle your way through the up’s and down’s of life. That creates more tension. Live in the shared experience of the ups and downs of life and allow yourself to be human. It’s a whole lot easier that way. Trust me, I have spent much of my life muscling my way through and it is exhausting. Compassion was a foreign word–I thought that was for the weak. In reality it takes more strength and fortitude to be vulnerable and share what is really going on.
That is why I do the work that I do. I am grateful every day.