Luke Bryan says it best, “rain is a good thing.”
As I am writing this, it’s a dreary day in Southern California. As someone who lives in “Sunny San Diego”, it can be a downer when the gloomy weather rolls in. It’s almost like I don’t know what to do with myself when the sky turns gray. Rainy days are not very conducive for beach weather, hiking is not an option, no more rollerblading for me, or any other outside activity that normally consumes my days in San Diego. However, with the rainy day I am having today, I know that greener days lie ahead and the earth will be nourished when I return to it.
I am not one to complain about rain as I live in a mostly sunny place, but for all of the Pacific Northwest people out there, this is your time to tune in. Although days after days of rain on end can feel depressing and isolating, there are ways we can change our perspective and use rain as a ritual.
Rain can be nourishing for our minds and bodies, as well as the world around us. As the Daily Om explains, the “most cleansing substance on this earth is water, [so] we can think of the joy rain brings as an energetic bath, rejuvenating our minds, bodies, and souls.”
So, how can we use rain to benefit our minds?
Rain as Therapy
Rain can have soothing and calming effects on the mind and body. For one, it forces us to slow down in almost every aspect of our life. Rain requires us to slow down while driving, it makes us want to curl up on our couches with blankets and candles, and the sound alone can cause us to draw inward for reflection and thinking. Furthermore, it encourages complete stillness. We feel less inclined to leave our houses to go go go or do do do. Instead, our bodies urge us to stay put, which is a huge benefit within itself.
The culture that we live in requires us to always be on the move. We have to go to work, go workout, go to the grocery store, meet up with friends for happy hour, go to book club, attend PTA, and the list goes on. In fact, people are obsessed with the glorification of being busy. If you are not participating in the “normalness” of running around like a chicken with your head cut off, then you are seen as less ambitious or less capable or even something to be pitied.
This is a crazy perspective, but has held pretty true throughout American history despite the more recent uptick in mental health awareness and encouragement to utilize self-care.
Rain is a great gateway to combat the career-oriented, individualistic mindset that keeps us from the joy of doing nothing. Just like a guided meditation, you can use rain as a platform for cultivating mindfulness.
A Rainy Meditation
- Start by finding a quiet, safe place where you can feel judgment-free and worry-free. You can burn some sage, palo santo, or a candle to provide some calming aromatherapy in your space.
- Next, we encourage you to sit or lay down in a comfortable position, shut your eyes or find a soft gaze, and listen to the pitter-patter of water droplets hitting the window.
- Begin to take some deep inhales and exhales, and breathe in the smells, sounds, and feelings of rain washing over the earth.
- Imagine the rain washing away all of your insecurities, stressors, or mindsets that are holding you back from peace and joy.
- As you continue your breathing, bring your awareness back to the sound of the rain. Consider the rain filling the earth beneath your feet with nutrients and life. Think about the rivers and oceans flowing, bringing life to the organisms living within them. Appreciate the crops growing and thriving, gaining more minerals to bring back to nurture you for a food source.
- Finally, consider the relationship between your body, mind, and soul with the heart of the earth. Feel the power of the earth grounding you, hydrating you, and nourishing you. Allow yourself to feel this power, latch onto it, and embrace it.
- When you are ready, slowly bring awareness back to your body. Begin to wiggle your fingers and toes, rock your chin from one shoulder to the other, take a long body stretch, and open your eyes to revel in the beauty around you.
Rain for our gardens has been the source of many studies; “Rainwater contains more oxygen than tap water, and this helps plants grow full and lush. Carbon dioxide is also brought down to Earth to the benefit of plants when it rains. Once carbon dioxide reaches the soil, it can help release important nutrients for the plants. Spectrum News
Just as rain causes plants to flourish, gardens to blossom, and harvests to become bountiful, rain can do the same for us. Everything in life revolves around water. According to experts, a person can survive up to 1 to 2 months without food, but only 3 days without water. This is the value that water brings to our lives. It resets, refreshes, and replenishes. That is powerful. So, feel the power of the earth, the water, the wind, the sun around you, and be thankful for how each of these elements contribute to your life and the world around you.