I was raised to be intolerant (this was an unconscious act of my ignorant but loveable parents). I was taught that everything was either good or bad and to look at everything in a moral way.
After just months away from home I could see the ineffectiveness of this baseline education on my human interactions. The orientation around moral judgments doesn’t allow for others to have spiritual beliefs or ethics different from my own.
(Photo by Tim Middleton – www.Timages.biz)
Through several years of formal education, informal study and work in both corporate and small business settings, I redesigned that pattern, which was affecting both my personal and work life, to produce more meaning in my life.
Now I am morphing into a more tolerant, blending person. I suspect I’ll get there by the time I’m dead.
Changing this moral orientation has had a huge effect on how I choose to think about which things to do and how to do them.
Mood crafting – an essential skill for producing meaning in our lives.
One way to think about action is that certain actions are only available in certain moods. Look at moods as either ineffective or effective, not as good or bad.
For instance, hugging, teaching and being compassionate are not available to us when we are in a mood of panic. If we want to teach, hug or be compassionate it would seem then that panic is an ineffective mood. We would need to shift our mood to one that would allow these actions. A mood of Peace would work, be effective, in this instance. There are situations, however, when panic is a very effective mood … say if we want to run full out, scream to be heard and perform unusual feats of strength.
To craft an effective mood requires awareness and then, a choice:
1) Be observant of the moods we’re in
2) Be conscious of the actions we think we need to enact
3) Shift from an ineffective mood to an effective mood for what we want.
Shifting your mood happens in one of two ways: prelinguisticly (exercise, temperature, sustenance, massage, listening to music, making love) and linguisticly (the stories we tell ourselves in our heads).
Usually shifting moods requires some combination of both prelinguistic and linguistic methods. Back to our example of wanting to teach, hug and be compassionate and we’re in a mood of panic we could:
- Take calming breaths
- Put on a sweater if we are cold, take it off if we are hot
- Turn on some renaissance classical music (if we like this)
- Take a stroll around the neighborhood
- Look at the horizon not at our feet
- Call a friend
- Write a journal entry about a future that looks bright
- Read an inspiring story about overcoming the odds
- Acknowledge that you are strong enough to do what you need to do
- Acknowledge that you are not in this alone
There are many, many moods. There are many, many triggers to changing those moods. Crafting moods is a skill that will help lead us to be the higher selves we can be. It is an essential skill that will preserve our ability to add meaning to our lives. It is a thoroughly base skill we can build in our children for them to build better a future for themselves.
Miche has owned and operated businesses since the early 1990s. She now runs a thriving practice which serves small business owners by working along side them to produce from their businesses what they need to be both existentially and financially satisfied. She is an accredited associate of the Institute for Independent Business which now has over 5,000 experts available to assist her clients in any business concern. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan with her husband and 3 children.