Being mindful when the clouds roll in

A perfect day makes being mindful seem easy
A perfect day makes being mindful seem easy

In Switzerland, we all have had those days when it is breathtakingly, this-just-can’t-be-real beautiful. There is a full blue sky, framed by the mountains and usually some body of water that makes the view eerily reminiscent of a postcard or scenic calendar. And, on days like that, it is easy to connect to the moment- to exist in a moment of absolute appreciation for the world around you.

But, as in our emotional lives, it becomes more challenging to be mindful and intentionally move our attention to our experience when the blue sky is clouded. It doesn’t come as easily to check in with what’s going on right here, right now when what you’re noticing is… cloudy. Or, downright uncomfortable.

However, the more we practice moving the spotlight of our attention to our internal experience- whatever weather conditions may be present- the more information we can gather about how to effectively respond. When we take time to really look at that cloudy sky, perhaps we will decide to take our umbrella when we go outside, or stay home and take a warm bath. Or perhaps we will notice that the clouds are not as dark and ominous as we thought.

Like the flow of the weather, many of our thoughts, feelings, and body reactions are transient. Getting to know the patterns of our behavior, minds and bodies can help us to cultivate self-compassion and enhance our ability to problem-solve. Mindful awareness provides the opportunity for you to find spaciousness between you and your internal storms, and thus to respond more effectively rather than automatically. With practice and patience, making it a habit to check-in with yourself can eventually become as routine and informative as checking the weather.

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