Allow your eyes to close as the thunderstorm arrives; wherever you’re seated now will be just fine. Let the throbbing band across your forehead tell you that it’s time.
Focus on taking a slow, steady, intentional breath:
in… 2… 3… 4… hold… 2… 3… 4… out… 2… 3… 4… rest… 2… 3… 4….
And again; count.
Feel your heart pound anyway.
Recall hearing that thoughts are like clouds. Try to picture streaks of wispy cirrus drifting across a blue calcite backdrop while darkness encroaches.
When your mind wanders – to last week, yesterday, tomorrow – gently guide your attention back to your breath.
Each time, gently back.
Remember that you’re striving to be fully present. Accept the hammering, howling, whooshing as a welcome part of this experience.
Maintain an expression of calm composure when a rubbish bin tumbles and spills its contents. Examine broken things, rotten things, crushed, scrunched, shredded, sodden things.
Succumb and let a gasp escape as the sky roars and splits open.
Continue to breathe as the shock of lightning tears through you.
Laura lives in London with twenty-four houseplants. She writes to navigate difficult experiences and relishes sharing the therapeutic potential of creativity with young people. Her work has appeared, or is forthcoming, in The Phare Literary Magazine, Retreat West, and The Elpis Pages. She tweets at @laurarose_13.
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