Don't let one cloud obliterate the whole sky

"Don’t let one cloud obliterate the whole sky."  ~Anais Nin
You know that feeling when you look up to the sky and its clear and that perfect wonderful blue?  What is it about the blue that just shines through our bodies?  Just picture it now in your head and you can feel its effects just through your imagination.

And now think about a sky with a couple of whispy little clouds dotted know that blue sky is still there, and to be honest, sometimes those clouds add a little interest to the picture - if they are small and whispy.

And now think about a cloudy day where the blue is obliterated with clouds.  But the blue sky is still there, it's just hidden for now.  It will show its face again.

Its such a lovely analogy from Anais Nin about how our problems can overwhelm us and we lose sight of the good things in our lives. We end up spending all our time looking at the clouds and not seeing or even imaging the blue sky behind it.

Its along the same lines as one of my favorite sayings that I try to live my life by:
"you get more of what you focus on".  
I don't know who said it originally, but I find it to be so true. If you focus on the negative, you see more negative. Your mind gets tuned to seeing bad things. But if you focus on the positive, you see more positives in all areas of your life.

For example, think of a person who annoys you.  If you only think about those annoying features, you are just seeing the cloud.  Look for the sky in the person instead.  Put the cloud out of your vision - the sky is big enough for you to do that. There are enough good qualities in that person to find and when you start looking for them, you'll find more.

Or what about if you are struggling with problems in your life.  Think about those whispy clouds in your life.  They are all part of life - they add texture to your life, even if they don't seem good - but you don't have to dwell on them.  Look for the sky.

Look for that bit of blue - enough blue to make a sailor's shirt! Do you know that phrase? I can picture my mum in the car, looking for the 'sailor's shirt' - that bit of blue sky -  as we are driving somewhere for the day!  The "sailor's shirt" is enough blue in the sky to be adequate fabric needed to make a sailor's shirt.  If there is enough blue to make a sailor's shirt, the weather is going to clear.

So look for the sailor's shirt in your life - find that all important bit of blue - and if you can't find it some days, just imagine it and it'll come into view.

Imagine a hug

Give yourself permission to just take a couple of minutes with this blog post.

Sit down comfortably and take some deep breaths.

Breathe in for 4............1...........2...........3.............4

And breathe out for 4 ...............1.............2............3...............4

Take the time to do this for a few breaths...........

Now picture yourself receiving hug from your loved one.  Imagine their arms around you.....the hug lasts more than a second so give yourself time to imagine this as a real hug would be from your loved one.  Your bodies close, arms around each other, ....that feeling of safety and love.....

Next picture yourself being hugged by one of your parents.  Imagine how that feels.  How long does it last?  Are they long hugs?  Think about the different emotions that come to mind.  How your body fits that of your parent.  All those years of knowing each other....

What about the hug from a little child....maybe your child, or grandchild, or your friends little kids.....maybe you are bending down so they can reach around your neck...or you have lifted them their head goes on your shoulder...those sweet little arms trying to encircle you.

And what about a hug with a dear friend. How does that feel.  Picture that in your mind now.

Or hugging your favorite pet, be it a dog, cat, bird.......

Just think about how those hugs feel.  Each hug we imagined, felt different from the previous one.  The person makes a difference, even in our imagination.

I hope by taking a couple of minutes, you can see that just imaging receiving a hug can be pretty powerful.  Emotional and physiological changes occur. A hug can make us feel loved, supported, safe, touched - just when it is in our heads.

So hug imagery is something to remember.  I have many clients and friends who, because of going through chemotherapy, have been told not to hug anyone for fear of getting an infection from someone.  People miss these hugs.  But they don't have to.  They can use hug-imagery instead.  Next time you meet someone who can't hug, both close your eyes and imagine that hug.  It will still mean something to that person - and you -  and they will feel they have been hugged.

And if you can't be there to give someone a hug, send them this blog post and help them to imagine the hug you are sending them. Maybe they live far away, maybe they just need your hug today.  Suggest they take one minute and imagine a hug.  It can do wonders!

And as you finish reading this, close your eyes and imagine me giving you a big hug, right now.