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Internal weather check inspired by Croagh Patrick

Wednesday, 24th February, 2016 2:19pm

Internal weather check inspired by Croagh Patrick

Croagh Patrick. Photo: Michael Gannon

WHAT is the most talked about subject in Ireland? The weather! And the least? Feelings and emotions, or what we call the ‘internal weather’.

An innovative project, which is receiving the support of Bressie, is being rolled out to encourage us all to take a check on our own internal weather.

Mindfulness matters because everything changes moment to moment, internally and externally. Therefore, it makes sense to become mindful of change. The weather changes, emotions change, life changes, moment by moment.

Irish Weather Inside Out is an invitation to observe change using the ever-changing image of Croagh Patrick. The invitation is to sit for a few moments twice daily during Seachtain na Gaeilge (March 1 to 17) using the absorbing images of Croagh Patrick on the Mindfulness Matters Facebook page (Mindfulness Matters Mayo), Twitter (@infomindfulness) and blog (, taken by Westport photographer Michael Gannon.

The challenge is to take a few moments each morning with the image of Croagh Patrick at sunrise and to observe the external weather. Then consider your own internal weather at that moment. You can sit quietly, solid like a mountain, aware of your body, aware of your breath. In the evening take a few moments to observe once more by viewing the sunset image of Croagh Patrick, and check in on your internal weather.

You are invited not only to observe your internal weather and the transient nature of thoughts, emotions and clouds but also to report back on Facebook/Twitter using a word or an icon.

Thoughts are not facts. When we become aware that we are not our thoughts or emotions, we can sit and observe them as they come and go. We may begin to notice their transient nature, similar to the weather and clouds in the sky. We can experience happiness, sadness, peace and much more all in one day.

The Irish Weather Inside Out awareness project was sparked by the iconic image of Croagh Patrick. Being from the west, Dr. Ann Caulfield and Derval Dunford, Mindfulness Matters, have a great affection for the Reek.

First thing every morning Derval observes the Reek from her landing window, and each time she passes she checks to see how the mountain looks. The mountain changes moment by moment, sometimes disappearing completely under a blanket of cloud.

The focus on mindfulness and mental health is growing in Ireland and internationally. The metaphor of the weather can be powerful… feeling under the weather, a dark cloud descending, etcetera.

Weather analogies are used in teaching mindfulness, and with this in mind, Ann and Derval, in association with Michael Gannon Photography, Westport, created this very simple yet powerful awareness opportunity.

The project will be bilingual as it was inspired by the beauty of the Irish language, which recognises the movement of emotion. Ann and Derval felt Seachtain na Gaeilge was the perfect way to utilise this fun and creative way to learn ‘cúpla focail’ while also exploring change, both externally and internally.

The project is available to schools nationally and internationally and Mayo Education are running a competition in conjunction with it through local schools. For more, see

Bressie is promoting the project through his website.

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