I’ve been feeling particularly wonky the last couple of days. I love that word “wonky” introduced to me several years ago by a friend, when I was living in New Orleans. Although not an official word, there is no other word to so perfectly describe how I’ve been feeling. When you look it up online, there are many different interpretations of what this slang word actually means. But, for me, it succinctly brings together two other slang words that describe my mood exactly – “wobbly” (i.e. off-center) and “funky” (i.e. not quite right.) As much as we love and adore him, we often joke that our dog Rolo, pictured above, is a bit wonky on a regular basis.
And, that is how I have felt. A little off-center. Not my normal self. More than that even, disconnected. I’m sure my mood can be explained away by hormones or stress or too much red wine or a whole host of other reasons, but I think it is more than all of that.
I’ve been reading a lot about mindfulness lately. Stemming from Buddhist tradition, it seems to be the buzzword of the day in western circles. At a very high level, it encourages a moment to moment awareness of thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations and the surrounding environment. It encourages acceptance and a non-judgmental frame of mind.
It is very much in line with TOSO thinking…the idea of seeking to understand The Other Side Of the story first, without judgment. So, it’s ironic that when I try to apply that same sort of discovery toward myself, I struggle. I am my own worst judge. And, I don’t know how to let that go sometimes, and end up beating myself up for that too. And, when I get into that frame of mind, I start to feel wonky.
One thing that I have found to be extremely useful in these moments is to write. The kind of writing that is for no one else’s eyes but my own. In the last couple of years, I’ve adopted a morning routine that Julia Cameron recommended in her book The Artist’s Way. She encourages people to get all of the shit that is in your head onto paper every morning before your day begins. It doesn’t need to be prose. It doesn’t even need to make sense. It is simply three full pages of whatever comes to mind. Initially, I struggled with it, given that I wanted my words to flow and sound perfect. But soon I recognized, that is not the purpose. Like many, my mind is a jumbled mess of thoughts and schedules and deadlines and kids and friends and family and world issues and all kinds of other thoughts. Just being able to throw down those thoughts as they come, and in the form in which they come, helps to alleviate and organize and relieve the pressure in my head.
I have not been doing my morning pages all weekend, and I think that is a part of my wonkiness. So, this morning, I picked up my notebook, and the words began to flow. And, it is amazing the many things that I continue to discover there. What I recognized is that doing this type of writing every day is my form of mindfulness or meditation. And, it seems to work for me.
This is not to say that I am completely out of my funk, but I am starting to feel a little more balanced again. Now, what to do about Rolo…