Sunday, February 14, 2010

What's Your Weather Outlook?

The Weather.

This past week, I heard people everywhere anxiously talking about it. Some folks reacted to the possible emergency with their customary trip to the grocery store for a few necessities.

Meanwhile, the news was saturated day and night with colorful forecasts and dramatic warnings. The TV displayed banner information in the midst of programming to announce the latest closings, cancellations, and other alerts.

And schools, organizations, and businesses all prepared for the inevitable arrival of "Winter Storm Barbara."

This familiar story may seem mundane. Still, for me, the weather presents a great opportunity to reflect on the profound role of perception in daily life.

Consider some of the different feelings people shared with me about the recent weather conditions: fear, pain, disappointment, annoyance, tension, anxiety, worry, excitement, surprise, relief, freedom, awe, delight, and joy.

Although these feelings differ significantly from one another, they share an important foundation. They're all based on your perception of the conditions. That is, the way you see or view a "snowstorm."

For example, if you see the storm as "beneficial" (or "neutral"), you would be more likely to have feelings such as excitement, relief, or joy.

If you perceive the storm as "harmful" (or "threatening"), your feelings might include fear, annoyance, or worry.

So, where do your current perceptions about these storms come from?

As you may know from your own past, your thoughts and feelings about winter storms make varying, mostly subconscious, impressions in your bodymind. With more snowstorms, these impressions eventually establish your "bodymind set" (i.e., energy, beliefs) for your way of seeing and making sense of the external event called a "snowstorm."

When this perceptual habit forms, you will have specific thoughts, feelings, and even physical sensations in anticipation of a coming storm. And these habits will then lead to either unhealthy or healthy actions.

Of course, the process of developing habitual ways of perceiving "snowstorms" also applies to other conditions of living.

Just take a look at the changing "personal climate" (e.g., financial, workplace, family, relationship, health) you encounter every day.

Although your habitual responses to these "weather" conditions may seem deep-seated and fixed, you can start to break your habits whenever you choose.

The first step is simple and critical. You must become aware of your typical ways of seeing your personal climate. Toward that end, consider:

What's your weather outlook?

To respond fully to this question, experiment with this exercise:
  1. Choose one "personal climate" area of your life that feels the least difficult or easiest.
  2. Observe yourself without judgment. Notice your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and behaviors for that climate.
  3. Reflect on any habit patterns you see. Record your key insights or realizations.
  4. Do this until you feel a change in your awareness. In any case, have fun!
  5. If you're inclined, try the process with your other climates.
With practice, you will expand your awareness, and set the stage for new, creative ways of perceiving and acting in your life.

Celebrate your commitment to self-awareness!

Love and Peace,

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