Shift your perspective by doing a mindful walk (in the rain)
For much of my life I have had an intense dislike of rain. I become like a Gremlin that gets wet, I turn moody and angry! If the weather forecast predicts rain I reconfigure plans to ensure that I can stay indoors.
My dislike could be linked to the fact that I am half Irish. It rains almost every day in Ireland, which is why the country is so green. The Irish are so used to rain they have loads of different types … spitting, drizzle, soft rain, stair rods, bucketing, hooring, pelting, lashing, hammering….
One of my lasting memories of childhood relates to an added traumatic consequence of having to wear NHS pink, plastic rimmed glasses from the age of 8. I remember walking to or from school on a rainy day and having to wipe my glasses on my nylon skirt or wool jumper, which just smeared the wetness around the lenses. When I would finally get indoors, my glasses would fog and mist up, preventing me from seeing anything, forcing me to put my arms out to ensure I did not fall over anything. This resulted in me looking like a bedraggled mummy type creature that had risen from the dead. The repetitive wiping of the glasses would just smear the damp around the lenses. I would say this made up at least 15 percent of my childhood memories!
So now if there’s a hint of precipitation in the air I opt for cover. Today I had planned a mindful walk around Virginia Water. The weather forecast predicted rain mid morning. We set off early. The start of the walk was fine, we were happily taking in the beauty of bright green parakeets flying between their nest in the canopy of a majestic looking tree and Wick Pond, when it started to spit.
We carried on walking trying not to notice that spitting had turned to rain. As we were being mindful the plopping sound of the raindrops on the leaves were pretty hard to miss. The automatic response was to duck for cover or moan about how ghastly the weather was,
I challenged the group to embrace the rain. Group members used words like “freeing,” “cleansing” and “fresh” to describe getting soaked. It was a challenge for me to let go of my long established dislike, trying to remain mindful, I had to work hard not to think about the warm bath I would take when I got home, how lovely it would feel getting into cosy clothes and sinking into the sofa with the Sunday papers and a pipping cup of tea.
I challenged myself to stay with the rain – noticing how it made the leaves dance, how it made the lake come alive with ripples and how it quenched the parched grass after a long, hot summer.
With the power of my mind, directing my thoughts away from negative towards positive, I started to shift my perspective. Shifting my thoughts towards the positive, shifted my reality and I felt great for it. More evidence of the power of our internal dialogue. Incidentally it made the feeling of me getting into bed socks and dressing gown when I got home even more enjoyable.