November 11, 2012

Gray Days

It's mid-November in Wisconsin--cue the gray skies and short days. On Wednesday morning, I awoke from a dream. I dream for which I didn't remember the details, but had strong feelings--feelings of inadequacy and shame. On auto-pilot, I slid from bed and into my busy work day. Without mindfulness, the not-enough feeling stayed with me the whole day. And it was a gray day. Gray winter days feel surreal to me; I can't quite tell the difference between night and day; dreams and life. I easily carry with me any negative emotions formed in those early morning hours, not able to shake them without a purposeful pause or meditation sit.

On Thursday, I awoke from a different dream. A dream that gave me neutral to positive feelings. I went to early-morning yoga class, the sun showed its face, and my mood was remarkably different. I was enough, just as is. Such is the emotional weather of my mind and body. This is an apt reminder of what I know experientially from meditation: emotions change, bodies change, thoughts change. Nothing is concrete--not the blah of gray days or the burst of energy from sunny days; not the sorrows or joys of life; not the feelings of fear or gratitude. The weather--both in the natural world and inside our own minds--changes. 

This is both good news (e.g., challenging things don't last forever) and difficult news (e.g., things can change--devastatingly--in an instant; and we have no control). We might get a phone call that changes our life; we might make a connection that fills our heart; we might feel the weight of depression; or we might be buoyed by unexpected sunshine that illuminates a bee balm seed pod:

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