Friday, March 11, 2011

Everyone Needs Rain

     It's raining where I am today and while some would be disappointed, I am not.  I love the rain.  I love the hypnotic sound, the promise of nourishment and growth, the feel of it against your skin.

     If you are grieving, rain can be a wonderful catalyst for mourning and processing your grief.  Whether you like rain or not, see it as tears from above, a cleansing wash, or just an annoyance, rain changes what we do.

     Let it stop you
Put aside your plans and to do list.  Use it as an excuse not to go out.  Find a quiet place where you can watch and hear the rain.  My favorite is on a porch with an overhang where you can be in the very midst of the rain, hear it, see it, touch it, smell it, yet dry and comfortable.  Let the rain lull you into quiet reflection and meditation.

     You can follow your thoughts, feelings and perceptions wherever they lead you, or follow this mediation (or any variation of it you choose):

     Imagine the rain as teardrops.  They could be your tears, those of a higher power or simply nature.  Imagine each one represents a particularly sad moment or sadness in you - such as when you learned of your animal's terminal diagnosis or how it felt to see him or her die,  Perhaps the memory of bringing her home as a kitten or finding him at the shelter is painful.  Allow yourself to run with it.  Allow yourself to feel sad.  Allow yourself to cry, if your own tears come.

     None of these are a sign of weakness but rather a necessary step to healthy grief.

      Also think of the times that were so joyous and happy that you were brought to tears, or the verge of them.  Perhaps when you animal ran to greet you at the door in the evening, survived a traumatic injury, beat the odds, or returned safely from being lost.  Also think about the little moments that touched you, a lick, a snuggle, the sound of quiet breathing, the touch of a paw.

     Let the rain wash over you.  Let yourself feel the good and the bad, the happy and the sad.

     Then, when you feel ready, when you have let the emotions out and feel exhausted, take 3 deep, slow breaths.  Wait at least 60 seconds in silence.  Close your eyes and imagine the rain is washing away the bad feelings - the worry, regret, doubt, anxiety, helplessness, despair.  Feel it wash over and through you and back into the earth.

     Imagine the rain is cleansing you and nourishing you.  Giving room for new life, new joy, new hope to spring.  You are green and verdant like a bright green meadow or the colorful rain forest. You are read for the sun and whatever comes net.

     Open your eyes.  Take it in.

     Depending on where you are in your mourning, this process may free you to move on, or only open the door slightly.  Repeat this as often as it feels good and feels like you are moving forward.  We all need reminders and we all need outlets, no matter how long ago the loss occurred.

     Be gentle with yourself.  Mourning is hard work.  Don't be surprised if you feel exhausted after this exercise.  If you do, use the rain as a wonderful backdrop for a well-deserved, guilt-free nap.

     If you don't have access to a rainstorm when you need it, check out these videos on Youtube    or .  There are many others as well that will give you access to a rainstorm at your fingertips.

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