The sky is clear

I'd heard this quote on a Back to Work episode many moons ago. At the time I was thinking about how our fears, anxieties, and even the feeling of joy have a big effect on how we make decisions.

"You are the sky. Everything else - it's just the weather" - Pema Chodron

As I understand it, the underpinning of mindfulness meditation is to enter a state of mind where you can take stock of your thoughts and emotions as they pass by. It's about being actively aware of what comes through and then letting those feelings and thoughts go. You go from a passive observer-or even victim-of your emotions and thoughts, to an active curious observer. The act of repeated observation then leads to those emotions loosening their grip on you. As you observe you realize the fleeting and ever changing nature of the mind. This concept is fascinating.

While the quote relates to external versus internal changes I will-if you permit me-twist the meaning slightly: You are the sky upon which transient thoughts and emotions float through.

While this might sound a bit fluffy (cloud pun!), there is a practical component to this. Emotions are transient and easily altered, while you are permanent and not so easily transformed. A funk song coming on the radio can affect your mood, a rainy day can make you feel sad, and even standing like superman can have a positive on a job interview outcome! The sadness over a break-up will surely take hold of you if you let it, but after it passes you still remain.

The stress of handling multiple projects at work will take hold of you if you let it. If you mess up though, it's not the stress that will need to handle your boss, it's you. The emotion is a visceral, physical call to action but unfortunately most of the time we react in the exact opposite way of how we should. We procrastinate instead of handling things. We shy away instead of leaning in.

This concept has been knocking around in my brain and, along with other things in my life, have gotten me thinking about the role and importance we place on how we feel. I don't want fear to govern how I act, sometimes it's easier said than done. I should remember that in five years I probably won't have a clue how I felt today. All I will know is how my decisions and actions affected my life.

Have a great day. Until next time.

-- Jacobo Blanco