I learnt a valuable lesson recently. My mood was riding high and I had stopped using my Moodscope on a regular basis (I had tried once a week at least). Two months later I found myself struggling with recurrent sad moods that welled up occasionally, I pushed them down and carried on with life, a few weeks after that I realised I needed to stop and to take notice of this mood, so I allowed myself to have a good cry and went back to my Moodscope. Why was I surprised to find my score had dropped from my last entry at 73% to 30%?
My mood felt validated by the score, it was as though I had acknowledged its presence at 30% and by allowing it to just 'be' I could reflect on how my mind and I felt at 30%. Acknowledging the feelings that went with that 30% score allowed those feelings to be brought into the light, greeted, given compassion, and soothed.
My lesson learnt was that it is important to make the time to pay attention to myself. I feel, in our western culture, we are so often caught up in the drives of living in an economically and time driven consumer world that we forget to stop to really check in with ourselves. Society and the media teaches us to only share the good in our life and to paint/gloss over the bad or uncomfortable.
If we overdo the gardening or spend too long at the computer in our daily work, the body will send out messages of physical signs of stress and strain in painful muscles that need to be listened to. Likewise, emotional moods and sad and anxious feelings are also messages from our body that we need to listen to, and, although more difficult to interpret, do require our undivided attention at times to interpret their meaning.
My reflections above have reminded me of the poem 'The Guest House' by Jellaludin Rumi a
13th-century Persian poet:
The Guest House
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes.
Because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
A Moodscope member.
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