I was working with a client last week and we were exploring how our states of mind ebb and flow without us doing anything. The weather at the time was quite variable and one minute windy and raining and the next the sun would come out and the temperature seemed to warm up about 20 degrees. We were talking about how the weather is such a good metaphor for how our thoughts work, sometimes agitated and sometimes calmer.
Reflecting on our session afterwards I was struck again by the implication of our conversation, even for our conversation. While in our session I noticed my own thoughts, sometimes I was having a flood of questioning about where we should go next and what should I say that would be the most helpful. This arc of thoughts felt a little uncomfortable and I would let them pass without chasing them around. But then at other times, I would have a clear thought or story or question that just felt right, and I felt good in the moment and I would follow that.
This sounds so simple, to follow our good feelings and let our more busy and agitated thinking pass through us. And it is. And we can do this in conversations with our partners, kids, clients, even our own creative expressions. For example, I love writing each day. Just exploring whatever comes up in the moment for the fun of it. I notice that probably 80% of my musings on paper are not that interesting, kind of surface thoughts and reflections. But every now and then there is something fresh and new and intriguing that emerges in my writing that is fun and often surprising. I notice that it usually takes 10-15 minutes of writing to get through the surface noise and start to see something different that feels really good start to emerge. I’ve noticed the same with meditation.
So now I can relax just that bit more in sessions with clients and in life when I am having a busy mind because I know, just like the stormy weather, it will pass and cracks of light and fresh thoughts and feelings will emerge. And that when I’m feeling uncomfortable or at all agitated, it’s just a little thought storm and that I can trust when good feelings return, I know I’m feeling more clear again and to follow that. Because the good feeling leads me to more meaningful connections and insights.