My first yoga teacher would sometimes ask us at the start of class:
What’s the inner weather report?
This was (and is) a brilliant question because it accomplished two things:
1. It immediately created a distance from whatever was occupying my mind at that moment and my predominant mood on that day.
For someone new to yoga, the notion that my mind (thoughts, feelings, moods, fantasies and ideas) was somehow distinct from who I actually was seemed foreign and revolutionary. Yet answering this question made it feel natural, even obvious.
2. It allowed me to recognize that like weather patterns, the inner environment is always changing. No one mood lasts forever. Whatever pattern is dominant won’t necessarily last for too long.
Again, this awareness was at once plainly evident and at the same time held groundbreaking implications for my relationship to my mind.
Both of these understandings are crucial if we are to develop a healthy detachment from our thoughts and nurture an identity not solely based on what our minds tell us.
In the space that separates who we are from what we think lies true freedom.