Wed. Aug 10th, 2022

How about this weather, huh? I feel like that’s all people ever talk about. It seems to be the go-to small talk conversation between individuals. It’s easy. No matter who you are or where you come from, we all experience and are affected by changes in climate.

However, what is the context of these conversations? Is everybody always praising about how beautiful and perfect the weather is today? Or are they complaining about it?

We all have experienced our moods being affected by what’s going on upstairs. But is it the actual conditions doing this, our attitude about it or a mix of both?

More often than not — especially during the months of October through April here in Pennsylvania — people express how dissatisfied they are with the weather. Many people choose to complain about what Mother Earth is giving us.

Well, in case you haven’t figured it out yet, there’s nothing we can do about it. The forces that be give us what we need and when we need it, and for that, we should be grateful.

On a day where it’s gloomy, rainy and cold, you just have to create your own sunshine. Be the warm light that energizes this campus, this world. Just because the conditions seem miserable doesn’t mean you have to be.

The conditions up in the sky cue us subconsciously to feel a certain type of way. We take a step outside in the morning and allow the temperature, precipitation or cloud coverage to dull our shine. We have become way too comfortable and accepting of the idea that it’s okay to be rude on a rainy day, that it’s typical on a hot day when you’re sweaty to be cranky.

But my question is: Why? Why let something that we have no say in rule our emotions? As humans, our powers lie in the ability to transform our thoughts and our feelings, not the weather.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is real, and it even affects some people past the fall and winter months. When we think of springtime, we think of hope.

So many of us seem to mirror the plants and bloom during this time of the year, but this is not the same for everyone, especially those who suffer from depression. Researchers found that outdoor workers were far more likely to commit suicide in the spring months than during the winter months.

This same study found that suicide rates of indoor workers peaked in the summertime. Some research has been conducted that brings to light the possibility of various weather personality types, which would alter the impact that the weather has on you. There is speculation that the season you were born in could also affect your mood.

I could keep going. I could keep finding more research that explains why or how the conditions make us a feel a certain type of way, but we all know this intuitively. We experience it everyday. We just have to be aware of it and do our best to not let it sway our frame of mind — I know, easier said than done.

Think of it this way: When we’re constantly wishing for a different kind of condition, aren’t we missing out on the beauty of that moment?

Without rain, we wouldn’t have flowers. Without dark times, we don’t know the true splendor of the light. After all, isn’t the best part of a storm the rainbow afterwards?

It’s no different than thinking that money and material goods will make you happy.

We can’t keep reaching for external things to bring us joy and sustain it. We have to do that. So, how do we sustain this thing called happiness?

Well, it’s different for everybody. There are no happiness experts; we each have to be our own. You have to find what activities, mantras, songs, foods, people, quotes and so on will be the tools in your toolbox.

One thing that contributes to our joy, regardless of who you are, is gratitude. When you express gratitude, you’re acknowledging all the good there is. There are countless studies out there today that have proved the notion that being thankful makes you feel better.

We all know how to do this: Write a letter, meditate, tell someone that they make you smile, pray, count your blessings, thank someone mentally, keep a gratitude journal, etc.

Do what you do to express your appreciation for life and everything it has given, especially the weather. So, talk about the weather in passing if it’s with a stranger in line, but please, stop complaining about it.

I urge you to get out there and create our own sunshine the next time the weather conditions aren’t “ideal.” Just try. What’s the worst that could happen? I am the founder of Cultivate Your Mind. Currently, we are a collection of like-minded friends who have joined forces and are using our powers for good.

Our group organizes collaborative events that cater to the notion that we as individuals each have a different way of achieving balance, discovering bliss and finding our purpose. We believe that this life is a solo journey, but we aim to simplify and support the voyage for other people.

Our next festivity is on Friday, April 15 at Sprout Music Collective, on 130 E Prescott Alley. We are bringing together local businesses, healers and initiatives of the West Chester area to raise awareness and celebrate the mind, body and soul connection.

This two-part, seven-hour event is designed to be a beautiful new experience to the town with a goal to create a community of creative culture and conscious living. The first part is from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and is $5 if you order a ticket ahead at CultivateYourMind.EventBrite.com, or you can pay $7 at the door.

We will have massages, chiropractic adjustments, reiki, slacklines, gardening tutorials, a photobooth, empowerment sessions, tie dye station, cooking class, drum circles, essential oil demonstrations and outdoor games.

We will also be having an open mic for music, poetry and guest lectures. The second part of the event is from 9 p.m to 2 p.m., where you will have the space to let go and express yourself freely to a variety of artists, including Humandala, Mr. Sampson, Obsolete, Terrell Williams and Brandon Mesen.

We will be there, and we welcome all of you with open arms. So come out and praise Mother Earth with us. Let us allow the power of our hearts, minds and spirit to cultivate us to be healthy, and most importantly, happy.

Got questions or ideas? Shoot me an email CultivateYourMindEvents@gmail.com. Find us on Facebook and join the movement.

Ashley Struempfler is a fourth-year student majoring in communication studies with minors in web tech and business/technical writing. They can be reached at AS782685@wcupa.edu

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