The inner life
How much of what apparently goes on inside do we actually express?
Are our words, our actions and our moods the sum total of our inner world?
I don't think so.
How then do we process the inner world?
Do we sit with everything that's arising, knowing, like the weather, it will move on at some stage?
Or, do we think it real and/or true and/or who we are and sink in despair or worse still?
(I'm taking two opposing positions but, of course, in the milieu of our thoughts, feelings and emotions, there are many ways to process and or comprehend what might be in play.)
From personal experience, one thing I find helpful, and yes I accept it may appear churlish, is to invite the question if you are any more your thoughts than the rest of your physical body? I mean, we don't normally argue with our limbs, organs and blood and say that they're (as an example) anxious, angry or apprehensive. They just are. The qualification to this might be, as my friend with Parkinson's routinely does, is to have a bit of friendly banter going on when, for instance, she finds herself spontaneously running when she really wants to walk, as otherwise she might topple over. But in all seriousness, she knows that it's not really their issue but the part of her brain that's affected by the disease.
What am I trying to say?
Well, the reason why meditation or a slow walk is apposite to the weather model of passing moods etc, is that it allows a wonderful, contemplative space to open up where the thoughts, feelings and emotions can pass on through you (so to speak) without you stirring the pot and creating even more tension.
One other thing that I've found good in times of high drama — if I can remember it, particularly when I'm in a bad place — is to simply repeat the line: "Yes, but is it true?" This is part of the process that Byron Katie uses in doing the Work and I always find that if I'm willing to sit with the question for long enough, even when my Devil self is arguing like hell over the question, at some point, without having to go through the rest of the process that Byron Katie advocates for, I nearly always see that what I thought was getting me into trouble is a chimaera of my own making, and certainly not true in the truest sense of the word.
I accept that I'm making light of a complex, life-altering subject — i.e. the working of the mind — but then again, from a lifetime of living with some pretty extreme emotions, only now or certainly latterly have I come to realise the importance of properly acknowledging the fact that when my mind is still, quiet and at peace, my world is likewise a haven of silence and simplicity. And that means I get on better with my family, friends and colleagues — yes, I know I'm stating the bleeding obvious but it needs to be said. When I'm not in that good place, well, it's sh*t for me and everyone else.
And I can say, my direction of travel, not by will or prescription, is to go deeper and deeper into the quiet, transcendent silence of nature and all she offers; and, yes, as I keep saying, I know I'm blessed but even if I didn't live next to Dartmoor, I'd still find a green space to let my mind come to rest whenever it got out of whack with the happening of the now — which is all we've got.
Take care everyone.
Blessings and deep bows,