With the bustle and activity of spring rejuvenation behind us, we move into a new season and new energy - the season of summer.
To recap: I am writing posts on seasonal wellness, starting with the season of spring. If you are new to this series, here’s a quick snapshot: “Seasonal wellness simply means that you live in rhythm with the cycles of nature. We can tap into and use this energy to live in balance with the natural cycles of wellness that nature provides. All we need to do is look to nature for guidance.” Seasonal Wellness: Spring
Make Hay When the Sun Shines
I look at summer as the season of “YES!” There is nothing more disappointing than seeing the last days of summer trail to an end and thinking “I wish I would have…”. In Minnesota, that wish might not be fulfilled until 9-months later after deep frost and defrost.
As an independent business owner I can relate to the immediacy of finishing a project or sending that one last email. However, have you ever felt like you work hard to keep the grass trim, but you can’t remember the last time you ate a picnic, played catch, or simply laid in the middle of it? Just as we prioritize health, finances, and chores - summer teaches us that joy, fulfillment, laughter, and warmth are also priorities in our life. And if we are lacking in these vital, energy-giving aspects of our life, then we can cultivate them.
The Season for Joy
The best way to bring more vitality into our minds, body, and spirit is to be in a state of joy. Our masculine aspect teaches us to produce joy in our lives and our feminine aspect teaches us to allow joy into our lives. We can attract joy into our lives using both aspects, through some of the following ideas:
It’s easy to get caught up in chores or what we need to do. What if we said, “yes” instead? Set aside the chores and obligations for a night and meet your friend, go to the BBQ, or catch the tail end of the sunset.
Plan to not Plan
Set aside unscheduled time for yourself or your family. Block off a chunk of time where you set the intention to play. Maybe this means taking time to paint outside, or perhaps it’s a Saturday morning where you can wake up and ask the kids, “what sounds fun today?”
Plant something, go for a run in the rain, swim in a lake, go for a day hike, run through a sprinkler, or spend the weekend at the cabin. Grounding in mother nature is one of the quickest ways to feel a sense of connection, rootedness, and vitality.
Bring joy to others. Whatever we feel we are lacking is often because we have blocked the flow of giving and receiving. If you are lacking in joy, ask yourself: How have I brought joy to others recently? Joy is like the breath, in and out, giving and receiving. If we are more open to giving joy, we also make space to receive more joy. Here are a few ways to give joy:
- Invite a friend over
- Cook a special dinner for a loved one or your family - better yet- a picnic!
- Plan an adventure (a weekend trip, a day hike, or a creative project)
- A romantic evening with a loved one
- Send a gift or care package to someone you have been thinking of
- Volunteer or staff a community event
Live in Joy
Joy is all around us. Sometimes we lack the eyes to see it. Here are a few ideas to experience or receive more joy in our own lives:
- Bring awareness to the last time you experienced joy - feel it in your body and re-live the moment until you begin to smile. Acknowledge and cultivate gratitude for the experience.
- Play music that lights you up
- Think back to being a child. What brought you joy? Take time to do one of the activities or creative endeavors you did as a child.
- Wear the color yellow or eat yellow foods (add lemon to your tea or water)
- Get out in the sun for some Vitamin D
- Read a book or watch a movie that encourages joy and laughter
The more we live in a state of joy, the more likely we are to attract the people, places, and moments that will bring more joy to us.
In the cycle of seasons, summer is where the fruits of our labor begin to unfold and take shape. Summer asks us to strike balance between the productive and receptive aspects of ourselves. Gardens require water, care, and weeding to grow. And we also are given the opportunity to enjoy the journey of growth - the first ripe tomato on the vine, a golden sunset, or petals unfolding from a summer bloom. Summer has magic and rapture in it. Often the most memorable moments are ones we did not create, but the ones we were open to receiving.
Wishing you a season of joy and vitality.