Cultivating moods

Moods aren’t phenomena that just happen to you. They always involve you. You’re an active participant in them, even those moods that seem to arise and fall away unexpectedly, mysteriously.

One way of starting to see this is noticing that there’s an assessment at the heart of every mood.

In fear – something or someone is threatening me
In anxiety – there’s nothing solid for me to stand on
In love – there’s something or someone shining, alluring, life-giving here
In resentment – I’ve been wronged and can’t directly address it

A consequence of this is that it’s possible to consider cultivating moods.

You have some measure of choice about the assessments you make; about where you look for evidence for the assessments you do make; about what you read and watch and who you speak to; and about the practices you take up that shift your body in such a way that moods are prolonged or released. In this way you can gradually lay the ground in which new kinds of mood, perhaps those less familiar to you or less habitual, have the possibility of arising.

And because each mood brings about a world of possibility or constriction, attending purposefully to the cultivation of mood is a vital act of responsibility for our lives.

Photo Credit: duimdog via Compfight cc

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