Something about bad weather is really easy to take personally. As if the entire universe has turned against exactly you, without thinking that everybody else has to endure the same, or that ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are arbitrary values we assign to an indifferent and necessary natural phenomenon. Having a bad day? Of course, it starts to rain. It’s almost literary in its cliche.
Should it really be so hard to bring mindfulness to a phenomenon that is all but pelting you in the face, demanding your attention? It’s not. Running in a winter shower the other day, and feeling a bit sorry for myself because of it, I decided not to let the seemingly neverending rain detract from the uplift of the activity. Instead, I brought attention to the feeling of discomfort of the droplets against my skin, taking them for what they were without adding the story that accompanies dismal weather. Indeed, I began to bring awareness, and even curiosity, not just to the drops, but to the pattern they created on my upturned face — an everchanging galaxy of stars, erupting, dying. The dreary self-pity was replaced by a sense of wonder. The water never landing in the same way, a lesson in acceptance (is there anything more senseless to rage against than the weather?) but also in change.
It would be nice to report that the sun came out at the end of the run: it didn’t. But even if it had, that too would also pass and should be appreciated in the moment. There are forever dark clouds gathering in the distance, just like the sun will always rise in the morning. Neither is personal, but both have value and a lesson.
For more mindfulness activities look here.