I've been in a funk. You ever get in a funk?
You know...when your-get-up-and-go has got-up-and-gone? When the creative juices run dry? When you take two steps forward and six steps back?
Sure you have. It happens to all of us. What do you do and where do you go when you get in a funk?
I head to the water.
This morning, that water was the Gulf of Mexico. I threw off my shoes and just started walking. No plan. No timetable. I just started to walk... putting one foot in front of the other...toward the rising sun.
The water was rough today... stirred up and dark. Not unlike my spirit. Great, I thought. The water is supposed to feed and inspire me... not mirror my grumpiness. But, I just kept walking, putting one foot in front of the other.
I read an article recently about these times in life that I call a "funk." Lots of times they happen after a period of extreme activity or success. Sometimes they happen when whatever it is we do in life suddenly stalls. Sometimes, they simply show up unannounced and don't have the good manners to just move along, already.
Athletes get in a funk. Their strategy for winning suddenly stalls. They run out of hits, putts and goals. Scientists get in a funk. Their experiments fail. Their beakers break. Their lab rats revolt. Writers get in a funk. The words that race through their minds all the time suddenly put on the brakes. I've even heard that ministers get in a funk. The words of the pages of scripture suddenly just look like... well, words on a page.
How do they get out of a funk? Maybe they try a new coach, a new formula, a new approach...a new Bible. Notice the common denominator?
And, so this morning, I decided to look my funky mood straight in the eye by looking at the stormy water in a new way. I decided to view the crashing waves not as dark and mysterious, but as cleansing. Because, I wondered, what if the waves that come in the 'funky' times of our lives do for us what these waves do for their environment: stir things up, move things around, cleanse?
Maybe it's in the funky times of our lives that negative thoughts get stirred up...loosened up... and shaken off, paving the way for a new strategy, formula or idea. Maybe the pieces of the puzzle that comprise our lives, careers, thoughts and dreams get moved around a bit, so that they fit just a little bit better. And, as I watched the waves crash onto a shore that was strewn with pieces of broken shells, bits of seaweed and a line of footprints.. I thought that maybe the waves in the funky times of our lives provide a cleansing... as they wash away pieces of this, bits of that, and a line of the other thing... leaving us with fresh, clean sand to begin the next leg of our journey.
I looked up at precisely that moment and saw this.
The sun began to break through a small opening in the dark sky.
I smiled and snapped the picture. Not sure if I'm out of my funk yet, but I decided that... funk or no funk... I would keep walking, putting one foot in front of the other...toward the new day.