It snowed a bit this week if you hadn’t noticed. The Beast from the East they said. Siberian style snow they said. It was with trepidation of never making it back to Holloway Road I ventured out with my snow boots on and 2 coats braced for the incoming storm.
Tube lines down, stations closed, London was a disaster as apparently a single snowflake on one line brings the city to a standstill. Getting off the northern line I looked around at the other commuters expecting to see a sea of Northface, ski gloves, and balaclavas (they’re about ready for a comeback non??) – yet was greeted by converse and leather jackets. Londoners do not pay attention, or care apparently about the weather.
I looked like a right wally of course, but it did start me thinking – the Beast from the East, was bringing life as we know it to a partial standstill. We would be forced to pause for snow. Which led me to the idea, that it takes an extreme weather condition to make us slow down, to clear the diary, to rethink the to do list, which as someone who lives hour to hour by hers is frankly terrifying.
Or, as I stood there with snow whipping around me, was strangely reassuring, as there is something comforting to know that everyone is in exactly the same boat. Everyone too has to pause. Which felt like an ocean of time and the door of possibility opened in one dusting of the white stuff.
A reminder that we do need to pause. And worrying that a weather condition needs to tell us that!?
I spent a few moments letting the snow land on my face, noticing my skin against the chill of the wind, watching people huddle under awnings, the sounds of traffic starting to muffle in the snowy sound layer.
It was lovely. And watching others duck and dart and slip, I thought we’re all connected by this cold snap, causing us just to stop, just for a moment before the wheel begins to turn again.
I thought this might provide a lovely moment of mindfulness in the madness.
If the Beast from the East continues to rage on – try this:
Wrap up warm and get outside. This ain’t the alps so you’ll be back inside soon nay bother.
Leave extra time if trying this en route to a destination or just try it if your train has been cancelled and your WFH.
Stand still for a whole minute. Feel the weight of your body on the pavement underneath and the way your bones, and muscles, and all that you are, neatly stack on top of each other.
Once you’re grounded into the moment look up to the sky and feel the snow or biting breeze on your face like when you were a kid. What’s around you? Has and snow settled on branches? Are there frozen puddles all glittery and slippery? Are there remnants of snow from being pelted at windows (if you live round my neck of the woods that is).
With your awareness rooted in your feet, notice tipping the weight into the right side, then the left side, and then slowly take a step like you’re pulling your foot out of mud and moving it through space against gravity. Notice shifting the weight, moving mindfully from heel to toe as you take the next step.
Take your attention to your breath, which might be a little more laboured due to the amount of layers you have on, or sharper because of how cold it is! Notice the puffs of air when you breath out.
If there is any snow near by, go crunch your way through it and listen to the sound it makes. If it’s snowing, stick your tongue out!
Be aware of all of your senses here, and if one isn’t switched on, how can you stimulate it just for a moment?
Be present here, and let yourself enjoy this sweet moment in time you’ve created just for you.
And then get yourself back indoors, kettle boiling, and Netflicks on!