Did you know I possess an amazing superpower?!
That’s right, I, Joelle Prochera can create clouds in my living room!!!
Let me elaborate. Have you ever had a time in life when everything just seemed a little dimmer, when the colors were less bright and life seems somehow distant and removed?
Have you noticed how a room, any room – your office, your bedroom, your living room – can be a place of possibility, creativity and joy one day, and can transform into a dark, cold and lifeless place on another, depending on the mood or perspective we bring to the moment.
That’s it! That’s what I’m talking about – creating clouds in your living room!
I remember the moment I realized I had this awesome power. The insight I gained that day has deeply affected my ability to access happiness in my own life and today my intention is to share what I have learned so you can access more power over your own.
It was Arizona, in the spring of 2001. Entering into my 3rd year in the land of perpetual sun, I had long ceased checking the weather channel. I did not even need to open my eyes in the morning to know that the day had a 95% chance of being warm and sunny (the other 5% it was HOT and sunny.)
Despite the blaring sun and brilliant blue sky, on this day, as I sat at my dining room table, I realized that I was in a decidedly un-sunny mood.
In fact, I felt awful. Totally blah.
I am sure if anyone were to peak in on me, I must have been quite a mess. My eyes were scrunched up and I had a sour look on my face. My shoulders were hunched over and I was a million miles from feeling even remotely motivated to do anything enlivening or productive.
This was a problem.
I had things to do! Back then, I was a fledgling coach, thick in the middle of my education, with hours of reading and homework awaiting my focus and attention. This was no way for a coach to feel! I had to get it together fast!
The more I sat and stewed the more I became frustrated. How could I be grumpy or angry or bummy? I had lives to change, for heaven sakes! It was completely unacceptable.
But I couldn’t just snap out of it.
And I became truly concerned.
How could I suddenly feel so wrong when less than 24 hours before, everything was fine. Or at least it seemed fine.
Wait a minute!! Maybe it wasn’t fine and I just didn’t realize it!!
After all, something had to be wrong with my life, wrong with ME, that I would feel this bad and this lifeless, I reasoned.
Desperate to understand my foul mood, I began scavenging for what was amiss so I could fix it!
True, on the surface, my life looked fine. But if I strained and focused and dug down enough, there indeed appeared to be some small cracks in my fabulous life. Hungry for answers, I stuck my nails into those cracks and pried them wide open.
The more I scrutinized each part of my life, each piece of me, the more I realized there was actually a heck of a lot wrong!
Clearly I was not living up to my professional potential. That must be why I feel so awful! Ah Ha!
My boyfriend was not being as sweet as usual. Perhaps it’s time I get a new one. I think we’re getting somewhere here!
I was living in a fabulously-decorated apartment that resembled living at a resort, but it wasn’t a house. That was definitely wrong! Clearly, if I was good enough and successful enough, I would have bought some real estate already! That must be it!
And don’t even get me started about the size of my….. Bingo!
Then a moment of clarity caused an abruptly halt to my brutal assault.
Everything got really quiet as a curious thought fought its way into my awareness.
Maybe, just maybe, there was no “REAL” reason that I felt bad.
Maybe I just felt bad because my body was having a bad day.
Maybe I was hungry or dehydrated.
Maybe I was “hormonal”.
Or maybe, as my mom would so often suggest (and I would vehemently deny) I just needed a nap.
Maybe there was nothing wrong at all and tomorrow I would wake up to a new day full of hope and possibility!
Wait a minute!
What if I wake up tomorrow and I feel better physically, BUT I am left with these hard won stories of why my life sucks!
Let’s just say it was one of those “ton of bricks” moments.
I realized that my ardent efforts to uncover what was really wrong with me could create a new thought, a new belief about how wrong life was, about how broken I WAS! A belief that WOULDN’T go away with a nap or a glass of water.
This realization, changed my life.
It gave me new appreciation for the power of my mind and how it could be used for good or for misery. It also gave me a new respect for the state of my very influential body.
Today, if I’m crabby, I take a nap (thanks mom.)
If I am particularly annoyed, I check the calendar to see what time of month it is. My husband has become a great help with this. Oh, and I found out “there’s an app for that”.
And when I feel sad or quiet or dark, when the clouds seem to gather in my living room, instead of attempting to justify them with elaborate tales of what might be wrong with my life….
I step out for a walk in the sun,
disperse the gloom with a call to a loving friend,
or just allow them to be, knowing that it is part of life, it is fine and it will pass.
The next time you feel a little lost, sad or dark, consider that perhaps there is nothing wrong. Instead of analyzing or ruminating, try getting quiet and checking in with your body. Ask it if there is something it needs from you. Perhaps it needs to S T R E T C H. Or maybe it’s hungry. Or maybe it needs a nap. Or perhaps, it just needs to be grumpy for a minute or an hour or a day and maybe that is ok too.
Signing off … It’s nap time!