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Sky Metaphor

The sky metaphor is commonly used when working with Self as Context. 

The metaphor starts with comparing oneself to the sky. As a person, I experience cloudy thoughts and feelings. I also experience sunny thoughts and feelings. I experience thunder or turbulent thoughts and feelings. At other times I experience gentle or snowy thoughts or feelings. I experience all these thoughts and feelings but they change, move, and go by. I remain the same. I don’t change, but the weather does. My thoughts and feelings keep changing but they do not become me. I experience my thoughts, but they are not ‘me’.

When using this exercise with a client it is important to emphasise that the sky is unchanging. The sky represents the Observing Self. It does not change but everything else does - thoughts, feelings and other experiences. 

One easy way of introducing this metaphor is to ask the client to think about walking outside and experiencing the wind. We start by asking the question ‘if we walk out and experience the wind, are we the wind?’ The answer is obviously no. ‘What if we walk out a minute later and experience the wind and experience a thought popping up, are we the thought?’ Again, the answer is no.

What occurs is that we experience the wind (a sensation) and thoughts (comments and judgements) but we are not those thoughts any more than we are the wind. If we can notice the wind, we can’t be the wind. If we can notice a thought, we cannot be that thought. 

The Observing Self is the context within which experiences happen. From that context we can observe or witness without judgement.


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