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Emotional Shower

November 27, 2013

By Alena Eckelmann

When was the last time that you experienced rain? I don’t mean from under an umbrella or from behind a window but actually being in the rain and get soaking wet; feeling the drops run down your face; the taste of them on your lips; the intensity of a cold downpour or the light touch of a warm summer drizzle.

I woke up to one recent rainy morning and my first thought was ‘oh no, not another day of grey and wet’. Yet there was something tempting about this particular downpour.

The drops splashed on to the concrete of the street and rolled down from the leaves of the trees. The colors of the landscape became more intense: the green of the trees greener, the brown of the wood browner, the black of soil blacker, the red of autumn foliage redder.

Children seem to enjoy the experience of rain. They trace lines with a stick in the wet soil, stomp around in puddles of water, or throw in little stones and watch in amazement as the circles ripple, getting larger and larger until they disappear.

What simple joys! How come adults devolve to dislike them? When do we start to ‘behave” and not enjoy a playful encounter with rain?

We seek shelter from nature’s changing moods and get annoyed when rain interrupts busy schedules or ruins well-deserved beach holidays. We don’t want it to rain most of the time, or at least not when it is inconvenient for us as human beings,

This summer was so hot and dry; nature got very thirsty; whole rivers dried up. Did we hear their outcry when we opened the tap and expected the water to run?

But I hear you asking, what does this have to do with transition?

Because transition is all about engaging the senses and being open to direct experiences.

I am not talking about an exercise that manifests in our mind or second-hand knowledge acquired from reading books. Nor happenings in cyberspace and social media. Nowadays we feel connected to everybody and to the world.  But I wonder if this has made us lose touch with the real thing.

Can we really feel rain by just imagining it, reading about it, or by our friends telling us about it?

If such indirect experience is prevalent with regards to the outside world, then isn’t it likely to be the same with our inside world?

Do we really experience our feelings, our joy, happiness, sadness, anger, fear… Or do we unconsciously just go through the motions?

Are we choosing to stay sheltered by our “emotion umbrella”? Trying not to get involved in a shower of emotions, keep feelings at bay, stay dry, so to speak?

We tend to avoid a shower of feelings that would get us shivering to the bones. Instead we process what we think of as the emotion and try to work out what is really going on. Getting wet in that shower of feelings would have been faster.

Feelings in transition: getting to the emotional core; your whole body will know. Every inch of your skin, your heart, all your senses will know.

Let’s return to the innocence of children again and feel the world outside and inside at first-hand.

Also by Alena:

- Tokyo to Kumano: Back to the Roots

- Tokyo to Kumano: Food for Thought

- Tokyo to Kumano: Distance

- Tokyo to Kumano: A World Apart


About the author: Alena Eckelmann grew up in East Germany, and it has been change and transition ever since the Berlin Wall came down. She lives in the Kumano Mountains in Wakayama Prefecture, Japan, where she pursues journalistic, touristic and spiritual projects. You can find her on Facebook and LinkedIn.
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