Mindfulness

My rainbow friend

This morning, as we blew away the cobwebs with our permitted daily trip out of the house, my youngest said to me. “Our colourful friend isn’t here today.” Curious, i asked who our colourful friend was. “The rainbow,” he said, as if it was obvious.

And so it should have been. Like the hazy warmth of the sun on our backs, rain glistening on wellies and racing down windows, the cool kiss of a snowflake, and the dancing twirls of wind; tossing, turning – strong hands ruffling the hair of a young planet.

The rainbow, it’s burst of colour a beautiful celebration of science and nature alike. Present yet fleeting. Reaching out yet unreachable. Always starting yet never ending. Symbolic yet personal.

What if it were a distant yet consistent friend?

Mindfulness

Dancing leaves

The tree that reaches it’s gentle sweeping branches over my courtyard is a giant. Exposed to the elements; wind, sun and rain. I often sit back and wonder at the leaves, dancing their chaotic dance. Twirling, tumbling into and around each other; clinging on to the branches for dear life as they twist around it in search of refuge from the wind. The dance is exhausting to watch, it appears miraculous that the leaves manage to hold on.

These dancing leaves remind me of my thoughts. Bustling alongside each other, coiling, curling around each other, vying with each other for a millisecond of space. And yet, when I shift my focus from the busy canopy down to the thick trunk, I leave behind the chaos; all is still, steady, strong and firm.

Refocusing our attention to our core, to what matters, can feel like a challenge. It can be difficult to remember that the trunk is even there, hidden beneath the wild waving, the spinning circus of leaves above. When we accept our thoughts for what they are, leaves dancing in the wind, we accept their busy, chaotic dance, we accept their exhausting acrobatics as an inevitable part of our nature, part of our humanity as we journey through life, exposed to the elements. When we accept our thoughts for what they are, we allow ourselves to release our focus on the twists and turns of every leaf. We allow ourselves to step back and see through the swaying branches to the steady trunk beneath.

This core strength is something we can return to whenever we need, when the chaos above becomes too overwhelming. It is always there, restorative and resilient; a sturdy cradle from which we can branch out, extend, adventure and explore; dancing with the wind and reaching for the sun.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash

Mindfulness

Back to nature

In Solution Focused Hypnotherapy we talk about the creation of anxiety through negative thinking. Negative thoughts about the future, about what might happen. Negative thoughts about the past. About what did, or didn’t happen, and why.

This forward-thinking, backward-thinking machine can be incredibly difficult to switch off. Our subconscious minds get stuck in fight, flight or freeze mode, and our conscious minds, if they get a look-in, rationalise (incorrectly) that what we’re doing is productive thinking.

This constant back and forth can feel like being on a never-ending Pirate Ship ride, and the physical symptoms can be remarkably similar. Nausea, headache, dizziness, confusion…

So if you’re struggling to switch off, and if you can, get out. Immerse yourself in nature. Breathe. And ask yourself,

What can I hear?

What can I see?

What can I smell?

What can I touch?