I still have vivid memories of childhood summers. Wearing “flip flops” and chasing after butterflies and fireflies in the yard at dusk, playing “kick the can” with the neighborhood children, getting serious injuries on bikes and sand…things were just easier back then!
But adult activities in the summer are perhaps even more nourishing and meaningful. I relish more time to just BE. The autumn tends to get away from me, with all of the family and work obligations. But summer? I think I place an invisible net around myself so that I can spend more time in nature, cultivating flowers in the garden, going to parks. And I allow time to expand a little.
What do you do to “get through” the summer? Are there morning rituals you do to start your day WELL? Now that we have wellness apps on our phones, it is easier than ever to get the support you want to ease into your day with some inner calm, and to expand your mind and your capacity.
If you live in a place where you can get outside, that is the best. Feel your feet in the morning dew, take in the morning air…but if you can’t get outside, there are some really wonderful things you can do in the morning to get awakened into the day with ease. I am not an early morning exerciser. If you are, great. But I need to ease into the day slowly, preferably with coffee, and some breathing.
I have increasingly relyed on the Headspace app, my favorite, but I also have Wellness Coach, a company I actually work for (wellness and life coaching). There are a few people who offer meditations whose voices just immediately help me feel spacious and expansive and I don’t hesitate to choose them early, to start my day. So what do you do?
If you don’t have something yet, I suggest that you just experiment; especially start with the free stuff on the internet, to get a feel for the product, and then start to create your own well being rituals. (Rituals are things you do regularly, that grow for you, that help you feel setttled and grounded, and READY for your day. I start with the weather app, always, and then try to go straight to Headspace and choose the 10 minute meditation practice. Sometimes I get diverted into Medium, a blogging platform, and follow my favorite bloggers, but I am BETTER when I can start with meditation and then some movement…and then politics etc.
When Covid started, I fell into a really bad way for awhile. I didn’t want to do anything. Just sat on my cozy chair and meditated and read. Then, after oh, a month or two (!!!) I SLOWLY started to move again. It was a strange period for all of us, and frighteningly isolating. Remember? Food was delivered, we didn’t go anywhere, couldn’t work at first (everything I did was in person, with hands on!). But gradually we developed our rituals and support systems online. Boy don’t you wish you owned stock in zoom? I had my Pilates Instructor, my Yoga Teacher, started doing some private Alexander lessons on zoom, and then realized I could go back to teaching on zoom…and before I knew it, life started taking on a semblance of my old life as teacher and wellness coach.
I am sharing this little reminiscence because being well, and even being OK are not to be taken for granted. We all need support at some pivotal times, like during a world wide shutdown! And some part of me was witnessing myself REALLY NEED to slow down and breathe, and get off the hamster wheel. I was one of those people who had a different route every day, whether to a pilates class I was teaching, or yoga class, or doing house calls. I drove long distances, and spent a lot of time doing, doing. So when I had no choice, and had to stop doing the doing, well, there was a crash acomin’! and paradoxically, one of my most cherished awarenesses of that few year period was how fatigued I actually was! Me, the body-mind person, not actually taking very good care of myself. I needed selfcare. I needed to practice what I started to call “radical self care”, to fill up the vacancy that was starting to take over my heart.
Things feel very different now. I am starting to think of calling up my old clients and letting them know I am working again (even though many chose the zoom option all during covid, and I think they kept me sane!). Covid, although seems to be everywhere around, doesn’t feel to be life threatening anymore. Ore maybe we are just deluding ourselves, and should be taking more precautions…but it sure feels good to go to a good classical music concert again, and eat out with friends..
Still, let’s just sit with one another and take a deep breath, and feel in the body what we have all been through. It was a lot. The world changed. There are some good things that happened, for example more time to slow down and be with our inner wisdom. And as we gently and slowly reconnect with what is important and meaningful to us going forward, maybe one of our skins has shed, one of our nine lives has completed, and we can really ask ourselves “what is next?” “What do I really want for myself, my family, and my community?” “What do I really want now?”