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April Showers

As I write this, rain drops fall from the sky. The patter on the roof and pavement outside is a soothing and serene song as ancient as creation.

Water is such a precious gift. Water is life. Our bodies are about 60% water. We can survive for 8 to 21 days without food, but only 3 days without water. Water not only sustains life for every plant, animal and human, it cleanses them, too.

After a good rain, the air is clean and clear, both visually and in my lungs. Colors are much brighter; their vividness reminding us of the beauty that always exists around us.

Thank you, Sky, for the rain. Thank you, Source, for sustaining life with this gift. And thank you, Jenn, for giving yourself permission to stop writing and witness the miracle of rain.

I’m often asked how to reduce anxiety and increase joy. The answer for both is the same: Presence.

When we’re present in the moment, the future does not exist. Without an imagined future to project fear onto, there is no anxiety.

A great way to remember that fears are our imagination wasting creativity is to ask yourself, "Right now, in this moment, am I safe?" (Unless of course, you are literally in a life-or-death situation like bleeding out on the ground.)

In presence, we delight in the miracles that surround us. We become curious about the small ant walking near us. Is it lost and trying to find its colony? Is it following a scent trail to food that it will carry back home? Is it on an adventure to seek out supplies for its community?

In presence, we notice the colors and textures of our surroundings. We experience everything through our senses, which are pleasure-creating centers. The feeling of soft, newly sprouted grass against our skin. The scents of flowers or petrichor (the unique, earthy smell associated with rain). The sounds of the wind through trees, rain drops or birds chirping. When present with our senses, we naturally relax and find joy in these pleasures.

Presence is simple.

And yet, many of us fight against it. Between multi-tasking and distracting ourselves with electronic devices, our minds are everywhere but here and now. Presence can be uncomfortable for those who are running away from whatever they fear they will see or feel when they stop and become still.

If this sounds like you, what are you avoiding? What do you fear will happen in complete stillness? What uncomfortable feelings arise that you aren’t willing to be with? What shadows are you ignoring?

What are you running from?

What if, for once, you stopped? And allowed whatever is present to be, without judgment and without pushing it away? What if you were to simply accept yourself in this moment exactly as you are?

I invite you to adopt this affirmation: “Even though I’m feeling (insert emotion), I deeply and completely love and accept myself. Even though I’m experiencing (insert what comes up when present), I deeply and completely love and accept myself.”

Repeat until you feel your body relax into the here and now.

If we use this affirmation each time we practice presence until we can finally relax into it with peace, joy and deep gratitude will follow.

Like rain showers to the soul, presence gives life.


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