A Mindful Summer?
Summer is finally here! Or so I have heard people say about a hundred times over the last couple of months before reaching for their umbrellas to shield themselves from the sudden downpour. This morning I decided to have a laundry day, put the washing out to dry only to dash out an hour later to save it from the rain. On Friday night, the Mindful Therapies team planned a night out to see an outdoor theatre performance. After a day of beautiful sunshine and a well packed picnic, the heavens opened!
Mindfulness is about being present in the moment with non-judgement, curiosity and kindness. The British weather gives us a perfect opportunity to practice! It is easy to complain about ‘bad’ weather just because it doesn’t fit with how we want it. However, we can practice non-judgement, observing all weather as just weather.
No matter how prepared we are we cannot change the weather. With practice we can learn to accept the things that we cannot change. We can choose how to respond. We can even choose to appreciate and enjoy the rain. As someone once said to me ‘do you dance in the rain or do you just get wet?’ That is a choice that we Brits can all make on a regular basis!
One of the things that most amazes me about British summers is the way that we can make the most of what little sunshine we do get. First sign of some heat and beer gardens are full and there are impromptu barbecues everywhere. Talk about being spontaneous and in the moment!
Appreciating the Summer, appreciating the breath
When meditating we often use the breath to support us from distraction. Without the rain and the sun the trees could not give us that most basic of things, our breath. The beauty of nature relies on a combination of the rain and the sun to give us the rich variety of colours and flora that give us such pleasure. And who cannot help but smile when they see a rainbow?
So my tips for a mindful summer? Always have suncream and an umbrella. And embrace whatever the weather brings. There is beauty whatever the weather!