There is definitely a summer-y feel in the air these days! The weather is still very changeable but I am really enjoying the sunny moments and I’m making sure I get some natural vitamin D as much as I can!
For the month of May I am swimming in the sea every day to raise money for the homeless charity here, the Simon Community. Sea swimming has grown hugely in popularity here in Ireland during the pandemic for a few reasons. The slowing down and stopping of life for so many of us now over a year ago meant that we had more time to experience and appreciate what we have on our doorsteps. We found a new appreciation for the little things in life and for me swimming in the icy cold sea became another form of mindfulness. I have mentioned here before that mindfulness is simply awareness, awareness of what is happening for us as it is happening. This sounds simple but with so many things on our minds and so many things to do it can be difficult to not listen to the voice in your head and to not be thinking about the next thing that has to be done.
The Atlantic Ocean provides me with the perfect opportunity to get out of my head because it is so cold I can’t think about anything else. I do understand that this may not be something that everyone would enjoy but it has been described to me before as a reverse hangover. When you go out drinking you have a great time and the next day you suffer, when you swim in the sea you suffer the pain and cold and then afterwards you feel great. This has definitely been one of the highlights of lockdown for me.
I know I have mentioned it before but I want you to think about it again, are there any activities you do on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis that you could bring some mindfulness too? Could you try listening to the sounds around you as you go for a walk instead of listening to music or podcasts? Could you mindfully drink your tea? Really noticing how it tastes, how it feels, what it’s like. Or, and this brings me onto our mindfulness in action for this week; could you spend some mindful time in nature?
Mindfulness in Action
With the weather improving I think this is the perfect time of year to introduce nature to your mindfulness practice so this week I want you to spend some time in nature. This can be whatever form of nature you have access to so that may just be a small patch of grass or the trees growing on the side of the road. Whenever you see nature this week I want you to notice it. What is it? What does it look like? Can you touch it without harming it? What does it smell like? What colours are there?