‘What’s the weather like today?’ It’s a question I ask myself each morning, because I have taken up swimming in the sea at West Bay with a small community of like-minded people.
The question is not just about the external weather, but also the internal weather.
Sometimes the pull is to stay in bed when the sky is cloudy outside and dull and my mind inside is unsettled and agitated.
By bringing curiosity and kindness to this self talk I can listen to what I really need, and express empathy to myself rather than condemnation.
So be curious about the words you use when you are being self-critical: for me those words are often ‘should’ or ‘ought’. Maybe ask yourself ‘What is the attitude in my mind right now?’
‘What is the tone of my voice? Is it.harsh, cold or angry’. ‘Is the inner critic working overtime?’
Try and get a clear sense of how you are talking – to yourself. Can you soften the voice with compassion?, for example ‘I’m doing the best I can’
In these time when physical connection with others is so difficult, an easy way to soothe and comfort yourself is to give yourself a hug, or a tender stroke to your arm or face. Notice how your body feels after receiving this attention. Try giving yourself a hug in times of suffering. Do this several times a day for at least a week. It is such a simple way in which we can be kind to ourselves.
I look forward, hopefully, to offering some group sessions in October, possibly at Othona or in local Village Hall. I will also be meeting with Living Tree members for Mindfulness sessions on Zoom on the 9th and 23rd of October at 2.p.m. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom links.
If you are interested in Wild Swimming and its benefits, please see Simon Jordan’s new book ‘Wild Swimming through Lock-down’ which has just been released with pictures and stories (including mine) explaining the benefits. Or just come and join us. Copies of this book can be ordered from WestBayWildSwimmingBook.co.uk (£10, of which £3 goes to charity)
Much Love and Kindness to you all