You know, I don't take the weather personally. If it's cold out or raining, I might not like it, but I don't make it mean anything about myself. I might stay in or watch more TV or wish I lived someplace sunnier, but I don't feel bad about myself if it's icky out. Same thing if it's sunny. I might like it, it might be nice to go for a longer walk or sit on a patio or just enjoy having the sun shine in the window, but I don't make it mean I'm a good person or anything about myself.
In yoga class I describe our moods as being like the weather. It's emotional weather. And like the weather, it will change. There are even seasons. There are sunny days and cloudy days. There are partly sunny days, partly cloudy days. But if we're in a bad mood, chances are we take some of that personally. Like it means something about us if we're in a bad mood or having a bad day. We can go on to make that mean that our future looks a certain way or we won't have what we want or any number of things, but we can definitely take a bad day or a bad part of a day to heart.
But if it's just weather, then we wouldn't take it that way. We could just see, "oh there are some clouds and they'll be passing in a while." And there are many times where we're able to do just that. "Oh, this mood will pass." And it does. Today was like that for me. I could feel my internal weather just like the weather report. "It's going to start off cool in the morning, it's going to get this warm during the day and it will cool off at night. During the day there will be some sunshine and some cloudy periods." Got it.
Then why would we expect our internal weather to be one temperature all day? It's like this spring. We may say there's an average temperature of 15 or whatever, but that comes about by having days of highs of 6 degrees and days with highs in the 20s (like we're expecting this weekend whoohoo).
Now, there is a place where you can get more perspective and I describe that like getting in a plane. If you get in a jet and fly at most cruising altitudes, you're above the weather. It's always sunny (unless it's night time) no matter what the weather on the ground. From a satellite view, you can see all kinds of weather patterns and not be bound by them. Just notice them. We can get in that internal plane and fly up above the clouds for a bit and get some perspective. That's where meditation and yoga can take us.
Then we have to land again. If it's raining, we can carry an umbrella, or if it's snowing, have some warm boots, things to help us be steady in the face of whatever weather we're in. Things to help us maintain our equilibrium. If we go outside without a coat on in sub-zero temperatures, we're going to get frost-bitten. Same thing with our emotional weather. If we bundle up when it's cold or wear shoes when we're walking down the street, we'll have a better chance of keeping ourselves from having to deal with the big impact the weather can have if we're not protected. Life's like that.
I wore my watch today and I was able to breathe into all kinds of neat internal weather patterns, including the internal weather that came up when I got to CHEO to find one of my old graduates right back in the hospital as an inpatient (happy to see her, sad she's back); stuff that came up when I had dinner with John (actually not much came up, it was nice); stuff that came up to my mother's reaction to the fact that I was having dinner with my ex (frustration and surprise) and then the email from her that came after (more surprise shifting to disappointment). And tonight I'm not making any of that mean anything about me other than I'm a pretty good weatherman and I've got some good pictures being beamed from my internal weather satellite.