Yesterday I wrote an email to a colleague and I mentioned to her that I was feeling cranky. Or maybe it was grumpy. Or crabby. One of those words that sounds like it could be one of the Seven Dwarfs — the one deliberately kicking Happy in front of him as they march and sing in time. When my colleague wrote back she said, “I didn’t think you ever got grumpy.”
You’ve got to be kidding?!
If I were perpetually feeling pleasant and happy, I probably wouldn’t be writing about ways to bring more joy and color into life. I’d be too busy being my happy self to even consider that there is another way to be. Every day I’d be off laughing and twirling in the middle of the street. Who’d have time to blog?
Nah, I’m very much a case of “you teach what you need to learn.” Crabby. Grumpy. Cranky. Guilty. There’s plenty of times I’m not a very merry dwarf. That’s why I love the practice of Simply Celebrate so much. It reminds me that there is another way. Time and time again, I see that I have a choice about my attitude in life. Lots of times I am able to use practices or humor to jump-start me into a place of joy. Other times, I find that what is needed is just the permission to experience whatever I’m feeling; letting myself live the crankiness, pain, anger, or grief. Not surprisingly, when I allow myself to feel what I’m feeling — without self-criticism — those feelings often transform quite quickly.
In honor of that, here is one of my favorite celebrations from my book, Simply Celebrate: 101 Simple Ways to Turn Ordinary Days into an Extraordinary Life.
Celebrate feeling crabby.
Take a bath and use bubbles. Eat your favorite foods, even if that means donuts and chocolate, all day. Proclaim “I feel crabby” to everyone—even the waitress at your coffee shop or the bag boy at the store. Be real. For added grouchy fun, be sure to dress all in black, stomp around a lot and growl “Grrrrr” every chance you get.
Note: The gal in the bath art is by the book’s illustrator, Gregory Dean Bracken, artist extraordinaire.