All my life I have resisted any kind of dependency. Many years ago, just as an example, during a trip to India, I got a bad headache because I did not get my morning coffee. It made me realise that I was addicted to coffee and I immediately quit drinking it regularly.
The latest facet of needing something (to be a certain way) has been “weather dependency”. If the weather was grey and rainy I often got into a grey mood. So I asked myself: how can I avoid being dragged down by “bad” weather? How can I be happy despite compact grey skies, heavy rainfall or any kind of unwanted weather?
First of all I’ve trained in not wanting or rejecting any weather. Unfortunately not yet translated into English, Dominique Loreau’s book “Aimer la pluie, aimer la vie” (“Love Rain, Love Life”) has been an inspiring guide along the way. The author is fascinated by rain and she has listed literary texts, poems, haikus, and music that have accompanied her through different kinds of rain. She shows how loving rain can change your perception of the world and open you up to accepting whatever life brings. A small quote: “In rainy weather, the intimate contact with nature reminds us of this truth: every phenomenon is transient and in constant change.”
I also worked out some strategies to remain in a sunny mood on rainy days:
• Visualise the sun behind the clouds. I close my eyes and feel its light and warmth inside, and how it still nourishes me despite the thick clouds.
• Learn to see the beauty in the kind of weather I instinctively rejected. Even if I have to push myself, I dress up appropriately, grab an umbrella and go for a long walk. Soft shades of grey move like fairy mist and little raindrops glitter like pearls on flowers and leaves. The smell of rain on warm asphalt makes me close my eyes and smile. I thoroughly enjoy the freshness of the humid air, breathe it deep into my lungs and return home full of vitality and joy!
• Feel the happiness of vegetation. I go out into my garden (if you don’t have access to one, go to the nearest plant in your street or local park) to see and feel how the vegetation thrives, knowing that rain is just what it needs to grow strong and beautiful.
• Write a happy card to an elderly person or a child. I put all my love, care and positivism into it, writing a kind or funny message, perhaps even with a beautiful poem or quote about rain. It makes me happy to know that it will spread joy to the receiver.
• Pamper myself with Rainy Day Pleasures. Perhaps I’ll have a fragrant tea in my finest cup, light my favourite incense, wrap myself up in the softest shawl I own and read a good book, or diligently do time-consuming things like cleaning up photos from my cell phone and computer, sorting out clothes I no longer use or even clean out and organise the book shelf or spice rack.
• Make special plans for the next sunny day. Once the sun is out again, we shouldn’t just take it for granted, but consciously enjoy it. I might plan to take somebody out for hike (or a bicycle ride), to have a glass of wine at the restaurant’s terrace, or to prepare a lovely lunch salad and have a picnic.
• Prepare a favourite meal. I have made a list of easy, favourite meals, fulfilling and tasty, that make me happy inside out. Lentils with apricots, Avocado pasta, a fragrant soup, and of course, the famous and oh, so delicious Banana Bread.
Do you have any specific strategies for turning “bad weather, bad mood” into “whatever weather, good mood”? I’d love to hear about them and perhaps even add them to my list!