staircase going upward into a cloudy, blue sky

How do you feel when you walk outside to a bright blue sky? Do you feel good? I usually do.

What if the day is dark, with rainclouds hanging low? Different feeling, right? I like it sometimes if we need rain or a break from the heat. But too many days in a row like that messes with me. My energy gets low. The world doesn’t have the same sparkle to it.

What about the blue sky in our heads? You’ve felt it before, a day when you wake up feeling great, excited about the day. Sometimes we feel so damn good we can barely grasp the concept of feeling bad. We float. We feel energized and bright.

At some point, no matter who we are, clouds roll into our heads. Sometimes they are the dull blah of rainclouds, muting our days, our personalities, our lives. Other times, they are the dark storm clouds of turmoil and fear and stress. Some won’t admit it, but we all get them. I do. On days like this, it’s hard to remember what it’s like to feel great.

In the real world on these somber, overcast days, if you are a pilot you can climb into your plane, push the throttle forward and take off. In a short while you’ll pop out of that dark layer to blinding white cloud tops and intense blue as far as you can see.

What pilots get reminded of often, is there is always bright blue above those clouds. It never goes away. If you can get high enough, you can bask in the sun while the storms below have no effect on you.

What some of us on the ground don’t get reminded of often enough, is we can do the same. No matter what stress and turmoil are in our lives, if we can reach a higher place within our minds where the sky is always blue, the storm clouds have little effect on us.

How do you do this?

The more experience I gain in life, the more I’m convinced meditation is the answer.

Wait…

Before you stop reading because it has never worked for you, or you have an image of meditation only helping if you learn to sit still for hours, then give me a minute to explain another way.

If practicing meditation daily by sitting still and clearing your mind is not something you can or want to do, it’s important to grasp there are many activities in life that have meditative qualities. If you do these activities in a mindful manner, your life will improve.

So what are they? Here are a few:

  • Daily journalling
  • Time in nature
  • Painting
  • Drawing
  • Building sand castles
  • Assembling a model
  • Walking through an art gallery and focusing on the pieces that draw you in
  • Mowing a lawn (if you enjoy that sort of thing. I don’t.)
  • Combing the beach for shells or shark teeth
  • Running and other exercise
  • Something else you love to do and get lost in it

That last one is key… getting lost in it. If there is an activity you enjoy immensely that does not involve electronicsand you lose track of time while not thinking about the past or the future, then do it more. Do it because we all can use more blue sky in our lives.