Monday, April 18, 2011

Play Tour: Upper West Side

You know when you just feel "uggh.." that's how I was feeling for a few days. Maybe it was the non-stop rain, hormones, or the pressure I put on myself. Whatever it was, the un-enthusiasm I had for the past few days was totally un-inspiring. If I can't feel the flow, the magnificence, the wonder - than how the hell can I lead others in that direction? I see fixing my crunk as not only personally beneficial but also as public service (which is how we should all see it in my opinion). 1) because negative emotions are contagious 2) i'm not giving my best if i don't feel happy. There is a time and place for negative emotion. I value negativity. So I honored it - examined it - and chose to manipulate as much as I could to ascend beyond the pits of blah.

I started on Saturday, but didn't nip it in the bud. So I continued hard core on Sunday. I reached for whatever interventions were closest, easiest, and required least planning.

Imagine your emotions along a continuum...I was doing whatever I could to budge up just one notch. With each notch I felt flow and momentum sweep me up to a new level. All you have to do is inch, and the rest is handled. Just make a decision to shift and you're already on your way.

Manipulating your mood - to feel authentically better (I'm talking without drugs) - is a bit experimental. See it as that. Some things will work. Others won't. Some will work sometimes and not other times. Just keep trying. Don't get discouraged. Figuring out what does the trick is also revealing - it might also help expose the root.

On Sunday I literally dropped everything to focus on me - and what would make me happy. I had plans for a lot of work and being "productive" - but creating out of crunkiness is not what I want to let out in this world.

So here's what I resorted to...

1. Music - didn't really work
2. Exercise - didn't really work
3. Delicious breakfast: scrabbled eggs with tomatoes and goat cheese, date/tamarind dipping sauce, sprout salad on the side. And good coffee. And a good book. - Now we're talking. Started to feel better.
4. Youtubing spiritual talks - bingo! I needed to hear what I already knew. So easy to forget. It's helpful to have another voice coach you. You do know it all (somewhere deep inside)...but it's hard to integrate in isolation. Sometimes reading, listening, or watching someone you find inspiring can do the trick.
6. Putting on make-up - looking good helps. Studies prove it.
7. Taking a long-ass walk - wandered 40 or so blocks on the upper west side with great music. I sang it outloud. I grooved down the sidewalks. Music helped me now because I was budged up a notch.
8. Stumbling into different stores along my long-ass walk. I let myself discover, wander, and appreciate newness.
9. Taking pictures along the way - enabled both savoring of beauty and moments and also built up memory box of feeling good.
9. Visiting the Planetarium in the Natural History Museum in NYC - I have a new fascination with stars. I just visited the Planetarium in Boston last week. I remembered it made me feel good. So I did it again. I couldn't handle brainstorming and researching activities in NYC - so I did what I knew would work.
10. Being with a friend. I made sure to schedule time with a friend on a Sunday night. Sunday nights are always a bit extra ughh for me. They bring me back to school-nights. So giving myself something to look forward to is key.
11. Buying roses for me.
12. Buying gifts for friends.
13. Writing thank you notes on note cards I really dig.
14. Going to sleep, like now.

up a few notches.


  1. Stella,

    Really lovin' all your "PLAY" posts, especially this one! Really positive self-care...and yes, we are responsible for our emotions. Thank you so much and may the flow be with you!



  2. Thanks deb! Appreciate your reading and commenting! The how to of happiness by Sonia lyubimorsky is a great read for this. I'm writing from phone... So not sure of exact spelling.flowing, stella