When I woke up my heart sank. It was the day one of my writing retreat in Dartmouth, but where was the view? Outside my window was a thick white mist – somewhere beneath it lay the river. I couldn’t even see the end of the garden, let alone the water.
Inside me a whinging voice starting to pipe up:
- ‘It’s just not not fair’
- ‘The whole point of hiring this house is because of the view!’
- ‘What if the mist never lifts?’
- ‘What if I spend the next few days watching a cloud outside my window?’
- ‘I always get the bum deal’
I resisted fuelling the moaning voice and instead noticed it arise within.
There is something I know that is true for both the mist and my mood. I might not like them, I might not relish them – but they both will lift. I know that berating the mist will make no difference to how long it stays or when goes. It’s the same with our moods. There are times when we feel immersed in foggy thinking and things feel like hard work. Foggy thinking is accompanied by foggy feelings – in these moments its hard to see anything straight. However, like the river mist our mood will lift. It always does.
We’re not in control of how or when our mood (or mist) moves, but sure enough we’ll suddenly see a chink opening up. It was the same with the river mist. Whilst Buzz was running off to sniff for squirrels on our walk I glanced out towards the river and noticed the tip of the hills on the opposite bank starting to materialise. Then suddenly a watery shaft of sunlight pierced through the gloom. Slowly the mist evaporated and the view (which was always there) emerged once again.
I breathed deeply and drank in the view. The river Dart is so dear to me. I knew it hadn’t disappeared, I knew that it was just temporarily obliterated from view, and sure enough once again it emerged in full glory.
The mist is such a great metaphor for the mental weather that flows through our mind. We rarely notice the weather of moods that constantly manifest inside us. Instead we get caught up in them, interpreting our world through the fog, or the storm or the rain.
If we don’t realise that we’re just in the midst of mental weather then we can get scared. It looks frightening if things we thought were solid are lost behind cloudy thinking.
When our mental weather sets in, then things look and feel tough.
What would it be like if we just understood that our moods, like the weather are constantly shifting and changing? What if we knew that like the weather our moods would alter and move on? What if we knew that when our moods shifted then our whole experience and outlook would automatically change?
What if we knew that behind whatever the weather, at our core (like the river behind the mist) we were deeply OK?
What difference would it make to not be scared of our mental weather?
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About Liz Scott & Stuart Newberry
Liz Scott & Stu Newberry are Coaching Skills trainers and 3P practitioners. They help develop coaching cultures within schools and organisations. Liz & Stu use their understanding of the 3Ps within their training and are experiencing great successes and results in the organisations they are working in. Download an Introduction to the Three Principles here. Want to de-stress in just 28 days? Recharge on the Run is a FREE audio series (delivered to your inbox daily) that will help you discover your inner peace of mind. Find out more about Liz & Stu at Liz Scott Coaching and Training