Mindfulness: Sunshine or Rain, Sensing the Energy of Now

April 1

Bob Marley sang: “Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.”

On dull, cold, grey days I find I have a lethargy. I do only what needs to be done and I can’t seem to make myself do anything else. To some extent I even forget what else I need to do. But as the sun warms the earth and draws me outside for a walk, I begin to feel inspired. I feel energized.

Suddenly all of my hopes and plans for the Spring and Summer crowd into my head. Then I can’t sleep. Then I am tired again.  This is just a small taste for me of a pattern experienced by many who suffer from anxiety and depression. When well, we want to LIVE and DO – days or months of supressed dreams trying to be lived in a short space of time. It is the life energy within us and it is normal and healthy.

Mindfulness is a normal and healthy practice so we don’t go full force ahead and run out of energy when we are still in the planning and dreaming phase.

Mindfulness is not a religious practice although many religions promote their own version of mindfulness as a meditation practice.

It seems odd that the word mindful means to get out of my mind, but so it is. The practice of mindfulness is a kind of reset. For a short space of time, I consciously pay attention only to what I am physically doing. I try to let go of my thoughts. A mindfulness practice could be jogging, walking, hiking, dancing, doing taichi, doing yoga, meditating in silence, driving tractor, cleaning, playing a musical instrument, grooming a horse, chopping firewood – anything that gets us out of the chatter in our heads and into our bodies.

According to Bob Marley, “some people feel the rain. Others just get wet.” Mindfulness is “feeling the rain.” It is to be fully present, embodied in the moment. One of my favorite mindfulness practices is hanging clothes on the line. If I allow myself to pay attention to what I’m doing I am fully present with four of my five senses: feeling the warm sun and the light touch of air on my face, smelling the freshness of clean laundry and the scents in the air, hearing birds, dogs, cars and tractors, seeing the colours and textures of the world around me. 

I remember when my children delighted in dancing in warm rain. They were not just “getting wet.” Mindfulness goes hand in hand with gratitude. For me, it is always accompanied by a sense of wonder that I am alive to experience this moment.

Gratitude Prompt: What are the gifts for me in this present moment?