Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Diane's "Tip of the Week"

Good morning!

Today I am going to give you a great tool for dealing with negative emotions and feelings. I would like to share a “fluffy” experience that has lightened life’s load for me when I feel down and out. I hope it can add a touch of lightness for yours.

At midlife I spent a summer in the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. Besides much self-discovery, I also gained many wonderful tools for living life during my summer there. One of my favorite activities to do was to take walks and horseback rides out to the lush green pastures and soft rolling hills, all splashed with shimmering aspen trees. Then I liked to find a nice plush spot to lie down in the green grass and wild flowers and listen to the rustling aspen leaves and watch the cloud formations move across the sky.

If you have ever been to Wyoming, you know what I am talking about when it comes to enjoying the constantly changing weather patterns and exciting drama in the sky. Witnessing these rapidly evolving cloud patterns is an enthralling experience – one you can never forget.

As I lay in the grass and wildflowers, sometimes I would even wonder whether I was still planted here on this earth, or had I already moved on to the next world. Often I would say to myself, “I believe I have gotten myself as close to heaven as I am going to ever find on this earth.” For it was not at all uncommon to see brilliant rainbows illuminated across the sky, feel the rain falling from the dark clouds, and then experience bright sunshine breaking through the clouds to warm and light up this grandiose scenery. And there was still more: In the majestic backdrop, there were the snow-covered peaks of the Grand Tetons, smothered with rapidly changing, brilliant colored, billowing clouds. It was such a rich and delicious experience of nature, and all free – just there for the taking.

One day while viewing God’s Theater, a brilliant epiphany popped into my head: The clouds in the sky are exactly like emotions – they are each constantly changing and never remain the same. Along with so many other things I learned that summer, I have never forgotten learning this simple lesson from the clouds in the vibrant Wyoming sky.

Hardly does a day go by that I do not go back to that rich simile and apply it to a situation at hand. I find it to be a great tool for helping me deal with people who exhibit bad behavior and emotions. And I constantly use it when I find myself in a bad emotional space with myself. I just imagine myself lying in the grass and wildflowers again, watching the rapidly changing, dramatic sky. And all of a sudden, I don’t feel nearly as attached to my bad emotions. I see and feel the dark, threatening clouds rapidly moving on, only to be replaced by soft, light, fluffy ones.

Researchers indicate that most of us have anywhere from 12,000–65,000 thoughts pass through our mind each day. Like the ever-changing theater in the sky, our minds are working vigorously. And for many of us, our thoughts can be filled with skepticism, negativity, anxiety, or fear. Allowing yourself to become attached to these bad feelings and troubling emotions will certainly drag you down. But, if you can learn to view these bad feelings as you would a dark cloud simply passing by in the sky, you can lighten your emotion load. Remember the dark clouds come over, but the sun always comes out again!

Please contact me if you wish to share. I would like that. Thank you for your precious time and have a wonderful week!


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