the MIRREN LEE

The 2012 Act Three Journey of an Actress/Coach/Writer.

Day 27 Ups and Downs

Posted by themirrenlee on 28/01/2012

Whether going up or coming down, just enjoy the ride.

Ups and Downs.

In the movie “Parenthood” (worth seeing, by the way), one of the characters talks about how life is a roller coaster, with all the ups and downs that goes with the ride. Sometimes it’ll be a huge struggle just to get up the Problem Hill and deal with whatever challenge is facing you, while sometimes you can just sit back and enjoy the thrilling race down the slope to the finish line, the challenge effortlessly falling away behind you.

Today was a mixture of both for me. After spending 3 days in the house working on all the commitments I’ve set myself for 2012, I decided it was a day to get out and spend some time doing errands and shopping. As usual, I’ve overdone it, and I know the Fibromyalgia will make sure I feel it tomorrow. But it was worth it, as I got a lot of things done on my lists. And the good news is, I’m bouncing back now much faster than I used to. The power of sleeping again!

I’m a compulsive list maker, which is not necessarily a good thing. It makes me constantly feel I never get to the end of the things I have to do! However, the late Jim Rohn, motivational coach extraordinaire, said we shouldn’t turn our brains into filing cabinets. Write everything down you need to remember so that you have more room left over for creative thought. I’ve followed that advice every since I heard it; it really does free up your brain space, AND help your stress levels because you forget far less. Just don’t be a slave to your lists. Make them smaller rather than bigger, breaking your errands into smaller chunks so you don’t daunt yourself with how much your lists say you have to do!

So today I want to share with you one big thing I’ve learned that helps control my stress levels: how I feel today is not necessarily how I’ll feel tomorrow. Today I might feel like I want to stick a fork in my head – tomorrow I might feel like I want to kiss everyone I see.

Sometimes I feel up, sometimes I feel down. And that’s okay. That’s normal, healthy and part of being human. We’re supposed to have a good cry on a regular basis because it releases endorphins, which makes us feel calmer and more relaxed. I think crying is of such importance that when I find out someone hasn’t cried in a long time (I’ve had people tell me years, some NEVER!), I tell them to go to a sad movie. If that doesn’t work, try to find something, anything that will make you let go, weep heartily, and release those endorphins (without exercise, which feels like a different kind of endorphin release).

We seem to have become a society that’s afraid of emotion. We want to medicate it all away. We’re uncomfortable with the sight of grief, feel the need to offer a pill when someone feels anxious, depressed (I repeat, not organic depression, situational depression), or even simply discouraged/frustrated, and tell people to get a grip if their emotions are strongly expressed. “Oh, don’t be SO … passionate, angry, frustrated, fed up, aggravated,” etc. to infinity. (Hell, who wouldn’t feel any of these emotions just reading the news!)

We don’t even want people to feel strong positive emotions. Too excited, too happy, too optimistic. People like that are considered hyper and get Ritalin, with the former group getting antidepressants, while women in general (and more men every day) want to get Botox injections so they can’t show the emotions that they’re repressing inside. All slightly insane to a person like me, who loves emotions. I’m uncomfortable with people who don’t express them. That’s too zombie-like for me; I want to see your life long ups and downs expressed in your face.

As all my counsellors have said to me: sit with your emotions, allow them to just “be”. Feel them, enjoy them if they’re good and let them pass through if they’re bad. Because they will – when tomorrow comes you’ll probably have forgotten what you were so upset about!

Don’t fight the roller coaster of life. It’s going to go up and down, every day, whether you want it to or not. That’s what life is, an up and down ride of good/bad experiences. The alternative is to have the ride go ’round and ’round on a flat service, like a luggage carousel. Blech, that’s not fun! Do you want to be a suitcase, or a human case? If it’s the latter, then hold on and go with it. If you really think you might prefer being a suitcase, well … I’m sorry, but … I don’t speak luggage.

I was up today – can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings. Whatever it is, I’ll paraphrase the “education” saying: “Life is a journey, not a destination.”

I’m just ridin’ …

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