When life is grand, decisions are easy. Your emotions respond appropriately to immediate situations. Your ability to see beyond today and envision the future is clear. Your level of energy is balanced by your diet and amount you sleep. Your attitude is generally positive if not hopeful. You are easily excited by your idiosyncratic joys and passions and you are able to easily empathize with sadness of others. You approach conflict with appropriate concern and with measured feelings.
However…when you find your self amidst a Soul-Funk Rip Tide, you are carried away from the normalcy of the “shore life” and are engulfed panic, despair, fatigue and sadness that surround you in a myopic futility.
As stated before, these symptoms can be caused by imbalances of brain chemistry or by traumatic experiences. Before you are taken too far from shore, you must signal for help and seek the lifeguarding aid of a medical professional. There is no stigma in asking for help when you need it and getting care when you are sick.
For others, the tide risk results from ignoring the signs on the beach, our inattention to our surroundings and in thinking we are better swimmers than we are. Also it doesn’t help that we didn’t wait an hour to swim after we ate lunch!
In my last post, I described how to survive a Soul-Funk Rip Tide. In this post I am going to give you further tips that have helped me when I have feared drifting over the horizon.
- Embrace the Urgency: You’re in trouble friend. You’re slipping deeper and deeper. You may be able to escape on your own – but you may not. Realize your peril and take action….NOW!
- Simplify: Your survival is now the most important thing. Ruthlessly eliminate everything that is unnecessary. Look at your schedule and your responsibilities and shed those that are non-life giving. Now is the time to tread water, leave your butterfly stroke for the park pool.
- Chose Your Chaos Level: Just how much chaos do you want in your life? The ocean never stops. The tide beats relentlessly against the shore. Get out of that bad relationship, exit from that draining business deal, break those belaboring habits. It’s time to find peace.
- Declutter Your Soul: You are not going to find help from deep and pithy philosophies, pseudo-psychology or theological arguments. Trade in “I think therefore I am” for “Jesus loves me this I know.”
- Use Your Voice: Whether it is your friends, your pastor, your rabbi, your rabbit, fireman or indian chief…talk to somebody. You’re drowning my friend…ask for help!
- Learn to Breathe: The farthest thing from your mind is going to be the most help – God. Open a chat window and start talking to God. Tell God how you feel, go ahead, he can take it! Sing, shout, cry out. Give him your pain and in doing so you are creating room for his peace to fill you. And let me tell you, there is no high as great as being filled with God’s divine and spooky peace – it’s a rush!
- Get quiet: Yes the waves are big and loud but you can’t let them get to you. Turn off everything. Click off the cable, put the computer to sleep, and mute the phone. I know that you are afraid of being lonely, but you need to take time alone with yourself and get quiet and listen for what is real. Solitude and mediation are favored practices for those have got this inner peace thing down.
- Train Yourself for Breakthrough: There will be a time when you are going to have to swim like hell to escape the tide. You’re going to have to take on the waves and show them who’s boss. In preparation for this, defibrillate your soul by dancing, worshipping, singing out loud and laughing. The goal here is that by enacting our bodies into demonstrative activity that it may help to shake your mind and soul into motion.
- Read Well: Finally I want to recommend a few resources that I have found helpful during my Soul Funk moments: “Bounce Back” by Karen Salmansohn is filled with simple and clever tips to help you get back on track. “The Inner Voice of Love” by Henri Nouwen is the penultimate tome for reawakening your heart. “Psalms” by King David et al from the Bible; David was a man after God’s own heart yet he was as flawed as any man could be.
Well, let me know what you think. What helps you from being sucked under?
‘Nuff Said, Godspeed, Stay Tuned In,