Thursday, October 4, 2012

Internal Weather

We're living in a rain forest this week. Or as they call it in Costa Rica, a cloud forest. Mist and drizzle has been nearly continuous for several days.

Usually, a steady mist makes things green--as it does in the Pacific Northwest and in Ireland--but we are in the red/orange/yellow time of year here in the North Country--colors that look great against a blue sky.

Even though temperatures in in the 60s, i feel cool in this misty, cloudy weather, and wear long sleeves and long pants.

What mood permeates your own internal weather? Neuroscientists have delineated 6 emotional styles* that they can "see" in their pictures of the brain.

Do you bounce back quickly from upsets and downturns?
Or do you have a slow recovery such that upsets and downturns continue to bother and worry and plague you for hours or days?

Are you a bright optimist?
Or a dark pessimist?
(Or somewhere in between?)

Social Intuition:
Are you frequently puzzled by the actions and words of people around you?
Or do you have the ability to see right through people and thereby navigate toward what you want?

Are you unable to put words to how you feel? How do you feel anyway?
Or are you quite aware of your emotions and articulate?

Sensitivity to Context:
Are you tuned out to your environment? (Perhaps like the absent-minded professor?)
Or are you tuned in to the needs and requirements of social situations?

Does your attention wander? Is it unfocused?
Are you able to focus in and concentrate easily?

What's your internal weather?

Mindfulness meditation can help us shift our natural tendencies. The ADHD person begins to feel calmer. The dark pessimist begins to brighten.

Today, i think i'll turn up the internal brightness by expressing gratitude and sending loving-kindness to myself.

*The 6 Emotional Styles come from the work of Richard Davidson and his book The Emotional Life of Your Brain.

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