Stepping out from under a cloud

Riding on the bus into Newcastle this morning, sinking into the familiar flat feeling that’s been with me since my mum passed away. It’s barely noticeable a slightly sad, low and flat feeling the Victorians would probably have called lassitude. It’s been quite constant feeling not bad enough to do something specific about but here, sitting on the bus, I’m able to tune into it fully.

It feels like a cloud of grey fog, thick and motionless, surrounding me. That gives me an idea. On our Integrity NLP Practitioner trainings we teach The Cloud Process developed by Kevin Creedon. You imagine that whatever unresourceful state you are feeling at the time is like a cloud surrounding you. The cloud is a metaphorical expression of your state having properties of size, colour and motion.

In the process you step out of the unresourceful cloud (usually dull and gloomy) and create a more resourceful cloud (usually brightly coloured) to step into. Stepping out of the unresourceful cloud and into the more resourceful cloud usually creates quite a change in the person’s state. It’s a very effective way to change your state. Sitting in my cloud I’m reminded of this process.

I’m already aware of my unresourceful state ‘cloud’ so I imagine the state I’d like as a glowing and sparkling gold cloud at the entrance to the bus. My stop is getting close, when it’s time for me leave I will step out of my grey fog, walk down the ailse of the bus leaving it behind and step into my new cloud before leaving the bus.

The bus starts to pull up, I leave my grey cloud behind on the seat, I stand in the queue of passengers waiting to get to my new cloud. Other passengers are standing in it, but I don’t mind, it’s a metaphorical cloud and there’s plenty to go round. The bus stops I move forward step into my sparkling gold cloud and step off the bus carrying it with me. I’m smiling, I feel pleasantly alive.

I stroll down the street to my first port of call (my favourite coffee shop). Standing at the counter I order my cappuccino and I am aware of a slight sense of the greyness returning. I look over to where I’m going to sit once I have my drink. While the espresso machine hisses I tune into the wispy grey cloud I’m standing in and imagine my sparkling gold cloud surrounding my table and chair. The drink arrives, I step out of the wispy cloud and into the golden cloud at my seat. I get another lift and feel inspired to write something for the first time in two weeks(this is the result).

It occurs to me that this is a very useful way to change the way you feel in day to day situations. We all spend time sitting or standing in one place then moving to another. Getting on and off buses, entering and leaving buildings, standing in queues. What would it be like if every time you moved you stepped out of any unresourceful state and into a resourceful state? What would it be like if you imagined a happy state at your front door, every time you left or arrived home you would have to step into a resourceful state? That might be kind of useful.

3 thoughts on “Stepping out from under a cloud”

  1. Lovely! I recall I got a very similar feeling recently, doing an exercise mentioned by a fellow-email class mate , a nice way of reminding one to ‘stay present’. “Smile when you see the colour blue”. Well, I just didnt know there was so much blue around! There are loads of little blue roads signs on the A69, I had no idea! And how many shades of blue – thats just remarkable. When I couldnt see a blue, I realised I was seeking out the colour, just because it was nice to ‘notice and smile’. Thats when I saw I had blue gloves on – great, I could just glance at my hands and voila! Instant happy now!

  2. A very nice idea.

    Your reference to the colour blue reminded me of the film K-Pax which is about someone who claims to be an alien (we’re never sure if that’s the case or not) arrives at a mental hospital and starts having a therapeutic effect on the patients.

    To the depressed people he suggests that they all keep a lookout for ‘the bluebird of happiness’. The patients diligently keep a look out, feeling more optimistic as time passes. When the ‘bluebird of happiness’ is eventually spotted (as it must be) there is a great outburst of happiness from all these depressed people.

    It’s a very good film and quite thought provoking.

  3. Yes, you remind me of lots of ways I like thinking about this movie. The ‘alien’ – he has experienced a shocking event which has left him with *special knowledge* – he knows things others don’t know and shares emotions readily and with empathy. Maybe the terrible event has opened him up, made him softer to the truth of emotions? When we have a *big* experience, it can make us feel separate, yet at a time when it is most meaningful to experience the full emotion…..thought provoking indeed. Want to watch it again, now, thanks!


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