This morning, despite waking up in a dark room because BGC likes to sleep with the blinds closed,
I had a second or two where I felt completely at peace.
A second or so later my mind, Neville, awoke from his slumber and started scanning through the past few days to check if there was anything that we should continue dwelling on this morning.
“Yep!” he announced with glee “Yesterday night after delicious gluten free fish and chips you felt a bit down.”
He consulted his clipboard. “There’s no sign of what was wrong exactly, but you were definitely feeling randomly shitty about life.”
Neville lept out of his bed (in my head) and opened his Wardrobe of Emotions.
He rifled through anger, irritation, happiness, grief, loss, panic, excitement, and fear, and then found what he was looking for.
Out of the wardrobe came a well-worn number that we haven’t worn much for years but could never quite bring ourselves to throw out:
As neville pulled it on over our head, I felt a bit heavier.
There was a slight sinking feeling in my chest, a tightness that wasn’t there when I first woke up.
“Today will be a below-average day!” Neville announced with excitement.
Neville has a field-day when things aren’t going well.
Even when they actually are going well, Neville usually manages to find reasons why they aren’t.
You’ve been hanging out with me and my blogs for a while now (you legend), so hopefully by now you’ve got your own name for your Neville.
Have you noticed what he/she pulled out of the Wardrobe of Emotions for you this morning?
The very first thing I did this morning, as Neville donned his ratty old non-specific-mild-unfounded-background-dread hoody, was to notice Neville in action. I watched as he flipped through the “what went wrongs” of the previous few days. I watched as he settled on a shitty emotion to wear.
And because I watched it all happen as I lay in bed psyching myself up to get out of bed and rush bleary-eyed to yoga, I wasn’t identified with the emotion.
Disidentifying from your emotions makes the difference.
I knew that the heavy feeling in my chest was unfounded and I knew who’d put it there, the sneaky bastard.
So before I got out of bed I redirected my attention into my feet.
I scanned through each of my toes one at a time, then as I levered my feet out of bed into the cold, I tried to keep my attention on the movement of my legs, the feeling of pressure on the soles of my feet as they reached the carpet.
Then as I walked the 4 steps across the tiled floor of my bathroom, I tried really hard to notice the cold of the tiles, the little chills that ran up my calves as I leapt to the safety of my fluffy Ikea bath mat.
Then I picked up the toothpaste (which BGC had crushed right in the middle), forgot all about my feet and never thought about them again.
Hours later as I biked back from yoga, I realised that not only did I forget to focus on my feet earlier this morning, but that the non-specific-mild-unfounded-background-dread was gone.
Sometimes all it takes is just a few moments of shifting your attention away from your mind and into the present moment to chuck you out of what easily could have been a downwards spiral of bollocks.
Next time your mind tries to pull a shitty emotion hoody on the moment you wake up, try out the Foot-Focus technique!
How could you not, with such an inspiring name!?
The more you practice the FF technique first thing in the morning,
the less frequently you’ll be sucked into useless worry and dwelling, and the more frequently you’ll set yourself up for a bloody good day.
In 2 days I’ll be posting another story about a technique I use when Bloody Good Chap (or anyone) pisses me off over something stupid and I know that the wise option (A) is to just let it go…
But I’m at high risk of going with option B: not letting it go, making a dick of myself, and later wanting to bury my head in shame.