During my meditation this morning, it began with a metaphor that “clicked” with me so well. I was being guided with Headspace, a mediation app that is great for beginners, and a beautiful metaphor was shared on how to calm the mind. It is extremely relevant for meditation, but aside from that, it really gives a clear picture of how simple it can be to clear your mind and calm your thoughts. Luckily, the animation is available on YouTube, but I will include the quote below.
The passage below is originally from the Headspace meditation app – these are not my original words.
“Take a moment to imagine a bright blue sky stretching off in the distance. This is a perfect metaphor for the mind. A blank canvas on which thoughts, feelings and experiences appear. Maybe there are just a few clouds. They tend not to bother us or distract us. This is how the mind appears when it’s calm: bright, serene and happy. But life isn’t always easy. Sometimes there are a lot more clouds in the sky. Sometimes they might be the dark and stormy variety. Occasionally we might even begin to wonder if a hurricane is on the way. It gets to the point that it’s hard to think of anything else. Sometimes we get so obsessed by the clouds that we forget about the blue sky altogether. But, it’s still there. Every time you’re in a plane and fly through the clouds, there it is right? Without fail: blue sky. It’s easy to forget that what we’re looking for is already here. And that’s why we need reminding.”
I just love it. I found this to be a perfect way to simply explain that we always have the power to go back to our happy mental state. The blue sky is how we are meant to feel by default, and the clouds are things we encounter that alter our mindset. Whenever you’re in a rough patch, know that the blue sky is always there. If you ever feel hopeless in a situation, or can’t shake negative thoughts, think of that airplane reference. No matter what the weather is on the ground, once we fly above the clouds, there are always blue skies. Remembering this will help you restore your faith in the universe, life and yourself. It will bring you back to the faith of knowing you are always able to tap into the blue skies, and that the clouds are never permanent.
This metaphor reminds us that happiness lies within. Depending on external factors for happiness is never a good idea, because once any clouds come (negative life events) we completely forget our power to choose the blue sky. We get so wrapped up in things outside of our control not going our way, we forget that those things don’t exactly matter when it comes to happiness. Our reaction to those events is what matters, not the events themselves. The happiness we’re looking for is already here.
Returning to the blue sky is what some call “choosing love” or what others may say is mental strength. I like to say choosing love because love is the opposite of fear. If I am ever feeling negatively in a situation, I ask myself “What would choosing love feel like?” The answer becomes obvious and it is easy to get back to the calm blue sky mindset. Practicing the habit of returning to this blue sky will have a profound impact on your entire life. Anytime something bothers you or life doesn’t seem to go your way, take a moment to try to return to the blue sky. Meditation, yoga, breathing and exercise are all mediums we use to help us return to the blue sky mentality. The more you practice returning to this blue sky during cloudy times, the easier it will become to stay there.
An important thing to note is that this metaphor is not teaching that bad things don’t happen in life, or that you must be happy all of the time. As the clouds crowd a blue sky, negative life events are bound to happen. The difference is that if you realize they aren’t permanent, and remember that your blue sky state of mind is still there, you will get through any hard times much easier.