I woke up grumpy the other day.
It wasn’t just your average, ‘Oh, it’s early, I wish I could stay in bed just a little bit longer’ kind of grump – it was a full blown, ‘I am completely uncomfortable in my skin and this world SUCKS’ kind of grump. This wasn’t something that happened to me often, and it felt BAD.
After so many years of being me though, and learning how to work with me, I do have an established protocol for when I feel off, so I immediately began going down that list, looking for the activity (meditation? yoga? primal scream from the rooftop?) or the substance (breakfast? cup of nice tea? vitamin B? chocolate?) that could help me make the shift. Nothing immediately available worked (Grump Protocol Activity #108 – Lie Down on a Beach in Hawaii would have definitely worked, but wasn’t immediately available) so I muscled through the first few hours of my day, really suffering from the depressing thoughts running through my head, until I was exhausted from the effort of just putting one foot in front of the other. I realized then I had to do something really drastic to make a shift, or the whole day was going to be a waste.
So I headed over to Pinterest.
Now, I recognize that for me Pinterest can sometimes be a giant, attention SUCKING hole that can rob me of hours of precious time.
But it can also be a place where I can set a times, clear my head and perhaps find a bit of inspiration that will click with me.
Which is what happened. I was browsing through inspirational quote posters, and I came upon the one about FEEDING THE BLACK DOG. Do you know that story? As I understand, it originally was a Cherokee fable about the black wolf and the white wolf that we all have inside us. The black wolf is full of fear, anger, greed, jealousy, and the white wolf represents peace, love, courage and faith. The question is which wolf will win in any given situation? And the answer is: the one you feed.
I realized I’d been feeding the black dog all morning. I’d been focusing my energy and effort on every aspect of my dark mood, using it like a beacon to explore the corners of my mind, like ‘Whoa, it’s really dark over there, let’s go see how dark! What if I think about kittens? Whoa! I can even get dark about that! That else can I get dark about?’
See what I mean? I wasn’t just feeding the black dog, I was leading him by the leash around the world inside my head. That realization helped me make the mental switch, which wasn’t immediately all rainbows and sparkly unicorns, but doable with time and energy.
What’s my point here? Your takeway? That inspiration comes from surprising places sometimes, so keep looking for it. And life on the sunny side of the street requires effort. It’s hard work, but we have to remember to feed the white dog. It’s worth it.
Seize the Day!
Julie Hale, The Psycho Therapist
Comments? Questions? Please post them below or email me, I’m always glad to hear from you!