One of the big lessons I am learning as I continue to study the practice of Mindfulness is to not get so hung up on my thoughts and moods. Often times when a worrisome thought or bad mood would come to me, I would get all wrapped up in it. Why am I thinking this thought? Why am I feeling sad/scared/angry?
The more I learn, the more I realize some of this is inexplicable. Sometimes we know what sets us off, but other times it is just a mystery. There are a thousand elements in our environment and circumstances every day that play on us. Some of them are important and some are just passing through. When I began to realize my moods change with the food I eat, amount of sleep I get, and yes, even the weather, I began to take them less seriously. Maybe I didn’t need to argue with my husband for an hour about our need to buy a new thumb drive after all. Maybe we could both just recognize we were tired and hungry and let it go. A nice snack and early bedtime would have been much more productive than trying to vehemently explain my thoughts and feelings about data storage (apparently I can have strong feelings about anything when sleep deprived!).
I think Pema Chodron says it nicely.
You are the sky.
Everything else – it’s just the weather.
This makes a lot of sense to me since I live in a place where weather changes daily and sometimes rapidly. There is no real predicting if it will be sunny or rainy at any given time. There is less chance at predicting how long said weather will stay. The storms come, they go, and then the sun shines again. If you don’t like the weather at any given moment, just hang out for a while and it will soon shift.
I like that I’m finally getting this connection in relation to my thoughts and moods as well. If wake up emotional or cranky from having bad sleep or nightmares, I don’t have to get all ramped up about it and start predicting how bad the rest of my day will be. I can instead get up, eat something good, get moving, and just wait for the dark clouds to pass. And they do. Sometimes quickly. Then I can enjoy that sunny mood until it too begins to shift when a harsh word or stressful moment comes. But again, if I don’t cling to the clouds and thunder, if I just wait for the wind of the day to keep blowing, soon this too will drift away.
For I am not the bad mood or the cranky disposition. I am much something much deeper and more unchangeable than that.
Remembering that at any moment helps me deal with whatever the weather of my mind may be.
If you are struggling with bad weather today, I offer you these pictures taken on my walk with my dog a few days ago as encouragement. The first picture was taken from the top of our hill at the beginning of our walk. The second picture was taken in the same spot about an hour later.
When the clouds gather and thunder threatens, just keep breathing. For storms are quite temporary, just passing through. Soon enough the winds will change and the storm will leave. Leaving your beautiful sky self to shine through.