Different Blue Sky Thinking

In management speak, ‘blue sky thinking’ refers to the exchange of ideas from various perspectives without rules or constraints. The people who engage may come up with creative solutions, innovations or inspirational actions for a challenge or problem.

From my perspective, if life gets in the way and you feel like you’re about to falter, it may help to engage in Different Blue Sky Thinking (DBST). Different Blue Sky Thinking means to consider yourself to be a beautiful blue sky. That’s your inner core, your ‘soul’. Now the weather of life will mean that clouds will come and go. Some are dark and stormy, others are happy and fluffy. All will pass. 

When you find it difficult to articulate how you’re feeling, it can help to visualise an image of a certain sky. It could be flat grey, thunderous or totally open and cloudless. Then, they key is to add meaning to this sky. Is it important that it’s grey and stormy or do you quite like the cool of the rain? 

Below are a selection of photographs of skies that I have taken over time, in different countries, different landscapes. What matters is the sky that depicts you. Like the weather, which is the state of the atmosphere in a certain place, at a certain time, it is impermanent. We will have moments of joy, long periods of happiness or sadness and bursts of deep grief. Take your camera or phone outside and create a diary for yourself.

It may be that you find that exercises that require you to be in the ‘present’, such as mindfulness, are particularly difficult if the weather of the mind is a bit stormy or flat grey clouds. A hyper state of the here-and-now can then actually be painful. It may help to identify the weather and consider activities that get you into shelter – paint a birdhouse, draw a doodle, go for a walk on rocky paths that require concentration, sort out your books alphabetically or make a sun catcher. For more serious mind weather, and no different to a broken bone, it is important to seek help via your healthcare provider.