The Explorer

Gabrielle smiling in profile

I am in a strange mood today.  There should be nothing unusual there since, officially, I suffer from a 'mood disorder' and I guess that should mean I experience 'strange' moods on a regular basis.

But what exactly is a 'strange' mood? In truth, I haven't a clue. I say I am in a strange mood when I find it difficult - correct that: when I find it impossible - to identify how I feel because I catch myself living and breathing in some kind of thick fog. My thoughts are foggy - they interconnect with each other in no particular order, showing no particular relevance to each other, expressing no particular meaning and leading to no particular conclusion. I am big on meaning and conclusion. What is the point of thinking if you end up less clear and more confused at the end of it, right? You might as well not bother.... Thoughts influence how we feel so I am also living and breathing in a Feeling Fog. I feel all sorts of things, melting into each other, ending up in a big emotional mess that has no name.

I wonder what would happen if I attempted to visualise my mood?... This is what I 'see': I am standing in a large empty room with large windows and a thick cloth covering the entire floor. The room and the cloth are colourless - a plain cream. There I am, in the middle of it, chucking different coloured paints from various paint points all over the place, the end result being a big multi-coloured shapeless 'mess'. Messy - very messy. Very enjoyable too though - the bright colours of the rainbow all running into each other and streaking over each other are somehow very easy on the eye and very satisfying to the heart. If I resist the temptation to judge my 'artwork', I appreciate it as a child enjoys crayonning. There doesn't have to be a end point to it - it can be enjoyed for and of itself.

Hmmm... I wonder what would happen if I tried to 'hear' rather than see? Ha! I hear myself banging on all sorts of percussion instruments: big drum, triangle, high hat, base drum, all very noisy, a great cacophony but with great energy and joy to it.

OK - let's try the 'touch' sense: what happens then? I feel like I am being slapped all over. Much to my surprise, it stings a little but it doesn't really hurt. It is as if it was waking up my skin and getting rich blood to flow to it, a bit like a 'rush of life' coming to the surface of my physical self.

What do I do with all this? One of my oldest friends came to visit me this last week-end. To say that she knows me well is an understatement - she knows me 'deeply'. We were chatting about my current situation and she suddenly became very intense in her facial expression and her voice.  This is what she said to me:

  • I cannot tell you why but I know it is of the utmost importance for you and for others that you observe, study, record, what you experience. (That was the second time I had been encouraged in this way)
  • It is also of the utmost importance for you that you accept your current experience graciously.

She then smiled and took a sip of her coffee, as if she had just 'come back' from somewhere else. I was struck by what she said because it rang a loud bell inside me. I don't know why either but I somehow know that she is right.

So today, I chose to act on her guidance and - rather than 'piss and moan' about feeling weird, lost, foggy, I put on my Explorer's hat and I went looking at what three of my main senses (sight, sound and touch) had to say about what I was experiencing. I don't 'understand' my strange mood any more or any better but I accept it so much more easily, with so much more good grace.

As a result, I feel so much better about the way I feel, if that makes any sense. That's got to be worthwhile - a lot less Knackering too because so much of our exhaustion comes from our fighting ourselves, more often than not because we think we should :0).......

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