The climate and weather of your mind


Sunset Tornado

I was watching “Cosmos” the other day, and Neil deGrasse Tyson was describing the difference between climate and weather. He was walking along the beach with a dog on a leash. The dog was unruly and curious, running off this way and that to sniff a patch of ground or chase after some new movement, while the man was walking in a relatively straight path along the shore line. Neil deGrasse Tyson (love that guy!) was using this demonstration to show that climate is the steady, average course that the man walks along, and weather is the up and down path of the dog. In other words, just because weather fluctuates, climate is really the overall trend that belies a more steadfast and useful truth.

I see that our moods are similar to weather and our minds are similar to climate. Mood goes up and down depending on circumstance, whether you have slept well, eaten well, are experiencing hormonal changes or other medical happenings. One’s mind belies the deeper, more enduring realities such as who we love, who nurtures us, what our personalities are, what our ambitious proclivities, skills and predispositions are, and many other types of longstanding personal/life traits. Being able to distinguish between a mood and the climate of your life is essential to cultivating goals and strong relationships. Mood tells us what “feels true”, just like weather tells us what it feels like outside. Ever heard of someone denying global warming because “It’s cold and snowy where I am right now”? Sometimes mood can be that way too–it makes us overlook or deny reality, reject fact and doubt truth because the climate of our moment dictates otherwise.

Don’t be fooled by the transient weather of your mood though, because inevitabley the climate of your life will override any fickle variation. One day you may feel like the most capable, loved, attractive and lucky fella you know, and then the next day you feel depleted, overburdened, self-pitying rejection. In one moment, the person you love is the biggest jerk and you can’t wait to get divorced, and the next you wonder how you ever lived without him. Our ups and downs are the manifestation of a feeling and engaged mind. Taking these divergences toward the polarities of reality are part of living, part of being in the moment. Don’t curse or judge yourself negatively for feelings, but do remember to keep the more entrenched and sustainable perspectives in mind, as they anchor you to the real value of your enduring existence.

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