Well, June is here.
In fact, we are at the mid-way point already! To me, it always seems like January, February and March drone on, while before I know it July 4th, the true mark of summer in my personal dictionary, has come and gone. All winter long, I long for the warmer weather, longer days and sunnier skies. Strangely however, when the fair weather arrives, everything kicks up a notch. There seems to be a phenomenon where as the weather increases in pleasantness, the amount of activities, responsibilities, vacations and social gatherings seem to get a boost as well. (Perhaps I say this because I haven’t blogged for the past two weeks and I need an excuse ), but in all honesty, how can we truly appreciate and savor this time of year before it passes us by?
This month, I hope to be able to share some insights, tips and ideas that will help you to get your summer organized in a variety of ways. With Father’s Day just around the corner, it is poignant to discuss men’s issues. Finally, I’ll share a book review for my pick of the month, Overcoming Trauma through Yoga, Reclaiming Your Body, by local authors David Emerson, owner of “Black Lotus Yoga” and Elizabeth Hopper, PhD.
For a parting suggestion, I’d like to invite you to try a mindfulness exercise to help you get in the moment of summer. I find that this exercise, when practiced daily, can really help to reset your day and emotional state especially when you find yourself in a challenging or stressful situation.
1) To begin, find a quiet place to sit where you won’t have any distractions for about 5 minutes. (Turn off any electronic devices that may interrupt you, and be sure to let anyone who is with you know that you need 5 minutes of time to yourself)
2) Once seated, begin to feel grounded and supported by your seat (a cushion, chair, blanket, rock, the earth). If you like, close your eyes and move and shift around to feel the connection between yourself and the support of your seat.
3) Take a deep breath in and let out an audible exhale, sighing out all of the tensions and stress of your day. Let go of everything that happened before you got here and anything that you will be doing after this. Listen to your breath and feel it as it moves in and out of your body. If any other thoughts come in, observe this and let them pass by like clouds, not dwelling on them. Try to bring your focus back to the support of the earth, your breath as it moves in and out, and any other sensations in your body or the environment (maybe a breeze, the air temperature, sounds around you).
4) When you’re ready, take a longer breath in and slowly open your eyes. Allow your body to move and stretch any way that you’d like. Finish by thanking your body for all that it does for you and thank yourself for taking time to engage in this mindfulness practice.
Try to do this at different times of the day to find what works for you. I regularly like to do this before I go to sleep at night, but it can be helpful after work, when you awaken, or as a break sometime throughout your day. This 5-minute practice could be the thing that changes your whole day for the better. Instead of letting summer pass us by, let’s make time to live in the present moment, free of distractions and fully alive.