We tend to talk a lot about what the weather is like outside. It's one thing that we can all share without a whole lot of argument, am I right?!
Looking outside and noticing fog, storms, or sun prepares us for what we need to do to put on (or take off!) before heading out.
I'm curious, though, how do you prepare when you notice your internal weather patterns? When your mind is stormy? When you're feeling depressed? When you're feeling foggy? When you're excited?!
Do you know?
Most of the time I get a universal answer: avoidance.
When our internal weather is not a peaceful sunny day, we do everything to try to get it back.
Do you do any of these?
1. Avoid through distraction: working long hours, surrounding yourself with noise (music, podcasts, phones, working out, socializing)
2. Avoid through medicating: do you find yourself drinking caffeine, popping ibuprofen, reaching for adult beverages after work to change how you feel?
3. Avoid through geography! We even relocate hoping it will bring us better internal weather!
We do anything to avoid 'inclement weather'. And the more we avoid discomfort, the weaker we are at being in it.
If you find yourself choosing to move away from what irritates, what causes discomfort, there is a simple, direct way to ease it:
Build your capacity to be in it.
We can't change the fact that it's snowing. We can't stop rain. We cannot clear fog.
But we can simply learn to be in it.
And that builds our resilience to be in more difficult situations with grace and ease.
Build your resilience:
You will need 4 minutes and a timer. This is a morning practice, so you'll have to carve out 4 minutes at the start of your day, every day for 30 days.
You can listen to a recording of the practice, or print the below out and silently move through the directions. Soon, you won't have to look at anything. You can do this practice with your eyes open or closed. You can stand, sit or lie down. The only thing you cannot do is do more than what is listed. No listening to music, talking to others, watching television. No multitasking. You are to unitask. That is all.
This simple 4-minute practice is the door to building capacity. It simply teaches you to pay attention. If you can can pay attention to how you are in 4 minutes, you can pay attention to how you are in the 4 minutes of internal weather you want to change. If you can teach yourself how to notice your breathing in quiet stillness, you can teach yourself to notice it when you're tense! It is this simple.
You will know that just as external weather changes, internal weather will too. And it doesn't have to be controlled by anything at all. It is natural, it is normal, and it is your strength that keeps you rooted in any weather at any time.
Let me know how your practice continues.
Sometimes it helps to be reminded that you're not alone on this path to being fully present in your life. Stay connected with simple practices, reminders and humor that come in my monthly newsletter.
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