Love the weather, is the only one you have
Do you remember what the weather was like exactly one year ago? Do you have any specific feelings about that? What is the first thing that comes to your mind?
Whilst I’d hope you may say, oh it was absolutely gorgeous, however quite often it can be just the opposite. But what is it that underlies these answers? I think the answer is two-fold; maybe it is a reflection on how you are feeling or thinking right now. On the other hand, it represents where you have been and how you felt exactly a year ago.
You may have perhaps heard the saying that we are what we eat, and in fact, nutrition and physical exercise plays a vital role in how we feel and how we are. A change in our nutritional habits can have a profound impact on mental and physical health. I would also suggest that we are what we think, what we see, what we hear and what and how we feel.
Our brains are a very complex piece of equipment, a depiction of a perfect balance of hardware and software, something that is explained with meticulous attention to detail in the fantastic book ‘Livewired’ written by David Eaglman. We are continually constructing our reality, influenced by art, news, messages, interactions with others, relationships with people, our thoughts, perceptions and feelings.
Our brains construct reality, by receiving stimuli from the environment, in this way could it be said that your eyes do not see anything and your ears do not hear anything, they are simply receptors. That livewired soup of chemicals is then experienced by you as a reality. Therefore, if you look closely enough, you see that all this is just energy, a meaningless soup of chemicals spreading through your brain waiting for you to make a decision and a judgement on them. And we do judge all of the time, whether we like it or not, we fall into the trap of our maps of meanings, concepts we previously held, our thoughts and feelings.
External factors can play a significant role in the way we judge our subjective reality and determine the way we act. Think of the Stanford Prison Experiment, Milgram Experiment, Cialdini’s work on persuasion, Gazzaniga’s research on split brain patients, number of research on eyewitness testimony, change blinds and list can go on and on.
So what does this have to do with the weather? For me, I think there are three implications here.
Firstly, love the weather, is the only one you have. Knowing that the only meaning the weather has is the one you place on it. So why not place a meaning on it that is constructive for you?
Although I admit that It may be difficult to love really, grey, wet weather, the first step is to just withhold your judgement…
I am writing this piece in the middle of November in the West Midlands, UK. I have been living in the UK for quite some time and I have come to understand why English weather is a world-known phenomena. What I am trying to acknowledge in my life every day is the fact that the weather is not miserable or great; the weather just does not have that power. It can be sunny, it can be rainy, it can be wet, it can be snowy, it can be whatever but it does not convey any emotions. Weather can’t be miserable, your judgement is a different story.
So next time you look outside the window when you are just about to say, “oh, the weather is so bad”,
There is no need to push yourself to say, oh I love the rain (although maybe you do) just suspending judgement is ok, just notice how that feels, how much easier does it become with practise?
So, do you remember what the weather was like a year ago?
Perhaps not, and why would you? It does not matter. Indeed tomorrow’s weather does not matter either. So, if yesterday’s weather doesn’t matter and tomorrow’s weather doesn’t matter, what does matter you may ask. The answer is now.
For me, the only thing that really matters is the present moment, it is the only one you can take action on… and then this moment… and this one. There can be something special about striving for non-judgement. When you stop judging things that you can’t control, you may notice that you have more energy to spend on something or someone that is more important.
Finally, could you use the weather as a platform to gain deeper self-understanding as you notice how quick you are to place a meaning or a judgement on the weather, or indeed any aspect of your experience?