Fluctuate like the Weather…and You Will Shine

The fog outside encases the mountains that surround this little area of Virginia. The thickness of humid air drapes a damp cloth over everything. I don’t mind the warmth a few weeks short of the official start of winter, but a winter chill is expected. The cold air is what should be happening. Sometimes I struggle to accept the fluctuations of the weather. Obviously, I have no choice. However, I have a choice about how I accept many things and this week I have had to practice reining in the fluctuations of the mind and accepting the roller coaster of productivity.

As I submerge myself deeper into the colony of artists and writers, I find myself as varying as the weather pattern. One minute I think, hey…this isn’t going so bad: I wrote four thousand words today and I bet three hundred of them shouldn’t be thrown away. But then a few hours pass or a day and I look at all the material around me and start to change my mind…paragraphs scribbled on sheets of paper, notes in my journal, multiple computer documents opened with such loose titles as “thoughts for chapter one,” “abandon or adapt,” and “crap to consider.” While they jumble around and I begin to loose heart, I have to remind myself, these are my documents and my notes and my journal and I need to give them time.

No matter what it is we are working on—a book, a painting, overcoming surgery, training for a big race, or handling a loss—we have to allow for the fluctuations that arise. Sometimes we can still the fluctuations of our mind to bring us some comfort. This is what the yoga philosopher Patanjali advocated in the second yoga Sutra. And, perhaps if I practiced my yoga for hours on end every day the fluctuations would finally lessen. But for now they are a part of life, and if I treat them as a positive force they are more likely to help me. If observed and experienced and moved past, I can view my fluctuations as temporary conditions versus a permanent climate change.

Tomorrow may be colder, it may be less productive or more. There may be moments when I feel a warmth from a solidly written piece.Then there may be other moments when I feel the bristling chill as I consider the paper of words a good fire source. But it is exactly both of these extremes that I must honor and accept…not just as a part of the process or as a part of life, but as the part of this thing called being human which is made up of more than one pattern. We can choose to see our lives and things within them as beautiful weather vanes, often moving and always changing, reflecting brightly with the sun shine.

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