Yesterday was Blue Monday. I felt a bit blue, myself. I wasn’t perhaps as productive as I needed to be. Barcelona reminded me – for the first time in weeks – it is winter. We live in a studio purposely but perhaps not legitimately, built on the rooftop of one of the old Modernist apartment blocks in L’Example. So far, so lucky.
I ventured out just the once. Boards were being blown over in the 60 mile per hour winds. Returning to the relative safety of the sixth floor, I felt quite like Dorothy in Kansas. I imagined our single glazed windows being torn off first, then us following on, dancing in the storm.
I also felt a bit, shall I say, ugly. We all do from time to time. Self confidence issues, alas, started at a young age. I had the luck to have Cyrano de Bergerac’s nose just as Gerard Depardieu was reprising the role.
From the Blues to Jazz
So today, I propose from the blues of Blue Monday, I play a little jazz. It’s still feeling like I am sat in Noah’s Ark, but Chet Baker is fitting musical accompaniment. And while the Blues is a cry for justice, or recognition, Jazz is the perfect comedown. The transitive step to something melancholic perhaps, or depending on one’s mood, simply at ease with itself.
Building self-confidence is a work in constant progress. I am in Barcelona for a reason, not entirely disconnected from this journey.
I have started a course in Generative Coaching, which reminds me it’s quite alright and perfectly natural to feel those plainest of human emotions: sadness, anger, frustration. The problem arrives, as a university friend used to tell me, when we ‘beat ourselves’ up for feeling sad or depressed.’
And yet, in this world of groomed representations of our better selves’, damaging perhaps our deepest sense of self, time is a commodity. We simply wish away these aliens, sadness and depression. We continue to dance on the carousel showing how wide our smile is. We haven’t got time to fall behind in life’s sprint.
Pit of our stomachs
Well, sometimes we are not smiling at all. We can’t. We are aching. The deepest ache that calls for a huge hand to hold us tight, to tell us it won’t happen, it wasn’t real, this is all a terrible dream.
I will be blogging over the coming months on coaching, generative change and creativity. But that’s for another day. In the meantime, please give yourself a bit of tenderness this Tuesday. Monday may well have been Blue. Today, acknowledge and welcome it, “it’s part of the team”, as Stephen Gilligan likes to say. There’s no need to cast these challenges away. We can’t – they are in the pit of our stomach.
The kindest thing we can do is remind ourselves we are simply human, and there is good in us, always. Even when we are feeling bad. So, if nothing else, give yourself a little ‘mental’ (or even, physical) hug. We all deserve it.