Tuesday Talk: Blue Sky Brain

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In relation to the post I published three months ago about grounding myself, I now revisit the idea of the blissful feeling that comes with mental clarity…no matter how fleeting it may be!

In that past post, I talked about how, on average, we think 60,000 thoughts each day (still shocks me!). I talked about some strategies that work for me when trying to slow down my brain and ground myself a bit more in each moment. I talked in that post, too, about how I needed to ground myself because it was a time when many future plans were taking shape, and I wanted to make sure I was enjoying right now.

Well, as it turns out, it’s still a time like that.

It’s always a time like that, it seems 🙂

So, still I look for little ways to slow myself down, settle into each day, and accept and appreciate it.

Do you remember being a kid and laying in the front yard watching the clouds pass?

I know this is an idyllic image we see of childhood, but I think most of us probably really did do that at some point.

I recently read about Blue Sky Mediation, and really liked the idea of it.

As you may remember from past posts, I don’t really like calling meditation meditation because it has weird connotations for me. But I do try to take some time each day to just be still in this life of perpetual motion, and I have found this Blue Sky technique to be fun and effective for mental clarity.

If you want to try it:

Find somewhere to sit or lay comfortably to be still and just breathe for a while. Close your eyes. Now, for me, I think up the image of laying and looking up at the sky. The sky is your brain. We all love clear, blue skies. Similarly, we all love clear minds. Each thought that comes into your mind is a cloud. Sometimes the sky is cloudy but it passes eventually. Sometimes our brain is cloudy, but we can help it clear more quickly.

When you start this little exercise, if your thoughts are racing you may only see a cloudy sky; you may not see any blue at all. But it’s back there somewhere!

As you breathe and thoughts come into your head, see them each as a little cloud passing through sky, just like the ones you watched pass through the sky as a kid. In this way, you notice each thought/ cloud passing through your head/ sky.

Eventually, you will start to get an image of a blue sky, and you will start to feel more mental clarity and, subsequently, more at peace.  Once my initial clouds pass, I usually get to enjoy a few seconds of blue before one or two more clouds roll in. Then I watch those pass and enjoy a little more blue sky. By this, I am reminded that mental clarity and peace are kind of a constant effort; it doesn’t happen on it’s own, but it seems the more I practice, the more quickly I can ‘clear my clouds.’

It’s kind of hippie-dippy, but really kind of cool! It works!

I like this for a few reasons. I like the nature imagery and having a set scene to focus on. I don’t seem to do well when I am trying to clear thoughts out of what feels like the vast abyss of my brain. Oftentimes, I see nothing but black when I try to meditate…and that just isn’t pleasant! Blue sky is much better for me. I like that this exercise doesn’t ask you to ignore or suppress thoughts, but rather to acknowledge them and let them pass; I read once that it’s silly to try and have no thoughts during a meditation because thinking is what the brain does…it wouldn’t make sense to expect it not to do that. Lastly, I like the reminiscence of the wonder and peace of being a kid watching clouds, and the metaphor to our own brains and thoughts that this brings up.

And mostly, I like that this works….really well!

During this time of impending change- plus all the to-dos that come with it- and buzzing excitement, it’s nice to just take some time to myself, to see the potential for my own mental clarity and peace, and to remember how important it is to be here now 🙂

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