I’m in a Funk

It’s not a running funk. Or an eating funk. Not an age funk (otherwise often inaccurately labeled a “midlife crisis”). Not even a career funk, otherwise known as the dreaded “What am I doing with my life?” self-doubt questions that happen to all of us at one point or another.

Just a life funk.

Truth be told, today felt like the beginning of the end. But to be honest, I’m not trying to rush through it.

I debated over whether or not to publish this to the world.

“My funk is none of your funking business!”

However, not unlike everything else that I say/do/experience… I thought about my funk. A lot. And while no two funks are the same, I felt the urge to share my experience with you, in hopes that you might take something away from it.

If you’re looking for all the funky details, sorry, but you won’t find them here. I’m not talking about the specifics of my funk.

And if you’re worried about me, please don’t be. I’m fine. Really. But I do love hugs & smiley face emojis, so feel free to send either (or both) my way 🙂

Now that all that’s outta the way…

Funks Happen

Too often, we try to avoid any feelings of negativity, discomfort, fear, sadness, etc. (We’ll refer to these feelings as “a funk” from here on out). It makes sense because it sucks to be down in the dumps. Who wouldn’t rather be happy?

But I think these funks could be useful, and perhaps, even a natural part of life. We can only learn from them if we embrace them. Allow them to happen. Not rush through them. And reflect on the experience as it’s happening.

My Funk

Without going into specifics, I believe my recent funk was caused by a number of different things, all converging on me at the same time. I’ll never know the true cause(s), so I didn’t spend much time thinking about that. Instead, I thought about…

How do you get out of your funk?

I have no idea. Depends on you, and the type of funk you’re in. And sometimes you might just want to let it play out on its own.

One important thing that my funk got me to do…

Break your routine.

Your funk could be caused by any number of different things, or some crazy combination of many things. You might never know exactly what caused it. This makes it difficult to predict what will help you break out of it. Soooo… just try something different.

Take a cold shower. Pick up a basketball & shoot some free throws. Look through your high school yearbook. Call your Grandma. Sign up for a new class. Take a day off from work. Go climb a mountain. Write a recap of your day before you go to bed. Try a new food. … you get the idea.

Maybe your funk is telling you it’s time to change it up.

Get something off your chest.

I’m pretty sure my funk had something to do with some feelings that I kept playing over and over again in my head. I wasn’t talking about them with anyone else. There were no changes or new developments with those feelings, so I kept playing out scenarios in my head. Not healthy.

Tell someone about it. And if there’s another person involved (a close friend, a family member, a romantic interest), tell them. If you can’t talk to them or see them (or perhaps just don’t want to), write it out.

Sometimes you want someone to know how you feel so badly that it can start eating away at you inside. You gotta let it out, man. Worry about the consequences later. And have confidence that the immediate consequence you’ll experience is, “Ahhhh. I’m so glad I got that off my chest.”

Maybe it’s natural to feel what you’re feeling.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) associates 5 elements with different seasons throughout the year. It also uses the Yin/Yang relationship as a guide to explaining inward & outward energy in the world.

Check out the chart below. And before you jump to any conclusions, read on to hear me out.

5 Elements of Nature
5 Elements of Nature. Image courtesy of Chiball.com

Late Summer is associated with worry. It is also associated with transformation & ripening.

Autumn is associated with grief, as well as crying, harvest & collection.

(this chart lists out all the associations)

I reference these two seasons because my funk spanned across both of them. And sure enough, I was filled with worry & grief.

Even more specifically, the grief just hit two days ago. I’ve felt worried over the past few weeks, but just starting this weekend, I was sad all day Saturday & Sunday. When did Autumn officially start? Sunday.

Transformation. Hey, that sounds a lot like change. Yup. Remember that “Break your routine” thing we just talked about?

So what does all this Yin/Yang stuff mean?

That, you’ll have to figure out for yourself. But here’s what it could mean for me.

Late Summer is preparing me for Autumn. I’m going through some changes now, in preparation for some harvest & collection in the Fall. Do I have 3 months of grief coming my way? Perhaps some sad things will occur in-and-around my life, but I can still choose how I respond. Sad things might happen, but because of my recent transformation & ripening, I’ll be better prepared to deal with them.

But this I know for sure, and I mean this with 100% of my being:

It’s OK to worry. There’s nothing wrong with feeling sad. And sometimes crying is the best funk[ing] medicine on the planet.

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