As I sit here pondering the topic for today’s blog, I find myself reviewing all of the things that are present and active for me in my life at the moment since I find that that is often the best grist for the mill. That made me think about a concept that I am finding rather interesting, which is; at any given point in time each of us is surrounded by not only our physical place in time but our “mental atmosphere” as well. The mental atmosphere takes in all that is current and active in our life at each point. It is comprised not just of our thoughts and feelings but of our internalization of the current events in our lives and our processes and recollections of all the things that are triggered in us by circumstances of our days. There are a lot of constants – things that we think about on an ongoing basis and then there are the more temporal pieces that come and go in our consciousness because of events that take place outside of us.
As an example here are a few of the things in my mental atmosphere at present; my beloved nephew’s impending wedding and my wonderings about how I will be able to make the long trip to Georgia to be present for it, the unpleasant awareness that at 5:00 in this morning I discovered my hot water heater is broken and my thoughts about how/when I will arrange to have it fixed, a course on Appreciative Inquiry that I am taking which stirs my curiosity and resonates quite strongly with how my thinking has been moving as late, my sons and how things are going for each of them in their own lives right now, just to name a few of the elements. Some of these things (my thoughts about my boys) are ongoing fixtures in mind while others have a more temporary quality. Some are rather mundane though not necessarily unimportant (the water heater) while others are more significant (my nephew’s wedding) and others have a strong “intellectual” component and the possibility of impacting the “language of my world view” (the course). A week ago, my mental atmosphere was different, though it did still contain some of the same elements.
How we interact with these things in our atmosphere, what feelings we associate with each “event”, how much mental energy we expend on each item, how our thoughts about what control and impact we have in each area, what actions we decide to take, what thoughts and ideas are spawned, how each area interacts with the others are the pieces that make up our experience every day. At any given point in time our atmosphere is in a state of flux and how we decide to move with it is what makes up our experience of our everyday lives. If you could break down your atmosphere into a list of the elements that are occupying your life right now what would it look like? Would you make a choice to shift your awareness from one element to another, are there items you want to add or subtract? Just as your physical atmosphere effects your day in very real and tangible ways, your mental atmosphere has at least as much impact. What are the elements of your world today?