We live in complex times… We are all different yet the same, as we are all human, all part of humanity and the universe. We must embrace our lives, our relationships, and our world as the precious gift that it is, seeing that compassion of heart is truly the only path to both our inner peace and peace for our world.
The lazy, sweet days of summer…
The summer is in full swing and I am thinking about things I can do to really enjoy the fruits of the season. I want to do things that will bring joy and meaning to my summer days. I started to think back to my childhood… I went to camp, played outside, spent my days at the beach… I was carefree and easy drinking bug juice and sailing the summer seas. Childhood immediately brings us to a time where we were playful, joyful, imaginative, and curious. I want this summer to be like that! We are not taking any vacation per say, but as you know I live on an island that is a vacation destination. My challenge to myself is to carve out a little time each day to find a simple pleasure of summer. Here are some of the things that I am going to try to do:
Simple Pleasures – Fun things to do this summer:
- Make a sun tea – my husband is always asking for iced tea and though he is a traditional iced tea drinker, I want to make some delicious herbal fruity drink too.
- Build a sandcastle – it is so wonderful to just focus on digging in the sand and molding shapes with water and your hands.
- Play hopscotch or jacks, or another favorite childhood game like Miss Mary Mack! That will bring a smile to your face for sure!
- Go beachcombing – look for stones, shells, and beach glass, find the sea trinkets that are calling your name.
- Gather your family and friends and sit around a firepit and enjoy smores. Sing a campfire song or tell a scary story too!
- Retake a picture from an earlier time in your life. Family photos are really fun to do! We did that last summer – in the original photo my kids were 10, 7, and 4, in the re-do, they were 23, 20, and 17.
- Play in the waves. Grab a boogie board or a raft and float in the sea.
- Have a bbq and play lawn games – croquet, wiffle or volleyball, or badminton. Capture the flag is one of our family favorites.
- Make a chalk drawing on a sidewalk. Let your creativity flow.
- 10. Go out for ice cream and an evening stroll. There is nothing like a summer evening and a gelato, ice cream or frozen yogurt. My favorite is frozen yogurt with a little hot fudge.
- Play a round of mini golf. When the sun goes down and you are looking for an evening activity, head to your local mini golf course. Make bets with each other and heighten the stakes and the laughs!
- Take an outdoor yoga or tai chi class. A great way to begin or end your day, movement and fresh air will help you ground and balance yourself.
- Spend an hour under a tree in a hammock. What a peaceful way to recharge and reflect.
- Sit outside and read or draw. I love just sitting on my deck with a cup of coffee or tea, reading from my current book, or with a sketchpad in hand, I might color my wildflower garden or the view of the water.
- Have a beach picnic at sunset. One of my favorite things to do is be on the beach at sunset. It is not so much the dropping of the sun into the sea, but the afterglow – the light and color in the sky is magnificent. And don’t forget your favorite food and beverages, or your chairs or blanket, so you can relax and enjoy yourself.
Let me know what your summer simple pleasures are and more importantly, how they make you feel. This summer, let’s all feel the joy, the peace, and the love that we deserve.
Every thought, feeling, sound, or action from us contributes to the nature of the vibration that emanates from our body. The truth is that we can attract similar energy vibrations to us. Have you ever been with a group of friends where the joy is so infectious that your belly hurt from all the laughter? Or conversely with a friend who was sad, and you felt that sadness in your own heart and soul. It is so important to be mindful of our energy and what vibrational message we are sending out. Breathing is the first step to our becoming aware of our energetic signature. Just breathing deeply, fully, in complete cycles of inhalation and exhalation, will help get our energy moving. Another really helpful practice, is to each morning before you do anything else, wake up your body. Spend the time each and every morning to ground and center yourself. Whether it is a simple stretch sequence or a personal yoga practice, spend the first few minutes of each day becoming mindful of how you feel – body, mind, heart, and soul. Scan your body as you stretch, as you breathe… Notice where the kinks are, notice what thoughts are getting stuck, and breathe and move through it. Get your energy flowing. Set your vibration to receive joy, happiness, patience, love… whatever it is that you want to embrace you.
It has been such a long time since I have really written anything… I have been thinking about that lately, and feeling that it might be time to dive in to my heart that feels so broken, shattered from the loss of my father, and the shifts of life that have rippled from that loss. A friend sent me a book shortly after my father died… “How to Heal A Grieving Heart” by Doreen Virtue and James Van Praagh. It was given to her and signed by James Van Praagh, yet she felt called to put it into my hands. If you don’t know this book, each page has a separate thought, so you can just open the book to any page and find some bit of inspiration to help you through your grief. I think one of the first things I read from it was about how one great loss will trigger other unhealed losses. I had been experiencing that and reading that passage validated what I was going through. And so I have been wading through all the other losses that I thought I had put into place, accepted, understood, integrated, healed… only to discover of course that that was the furthest thing from the truth, my truth. Why when I wanted to focus on grieving the death of my father did I have to think about other things, relationships, parts of myself that brought up so much emotion. But there it all was. And I really had no choice but to somehow find my path through it all. My heart ached. I was depleted emotionally, physically, and spiritually. And ten months later, I can’t believe that my father has been gone (in the physical sense) for ten months, I am still very much immersed in the process and feelings of that grieving. Tears flow daily and I basque in the salt of my personal sea.
I think that our hearts are continually being broken – but broken open so that we may have the opportunity to really see who we are and who is really there for us in our lives. I have talked to many friends that have experienced the loss of a loved one, and everyone shares this – that the dynamics in their relationships change. Perhaps the person who died was the glue of the family… perhaps in the process of the death family members did not see things exactly the same way… or perhaps because we are all unique, we handle our grief as we handle our life in different ways. The point is, things change. Everything changes. And the change is continual. And so I take comfort in the fact that the sadness or pain or anger or disconnectedness I feel will change too. I think loss is the great wave that washes over us and like the ocean washing the shore, exposes every rock, every shell, every granule of sand, every piece of us. It forces us to be in the light, and yet there is the darkness too, when the water blankets us and allows us to stay in our depths, in whatever feelings we choose to be in at that time. I prefer the light. I relish the sunlight that shines on the beach, on me, warming my heart so that feelings of acceptance and love emanate from my soul, from my very core essence. But I also recognize the importance of the darkness and the time spent in that place. There is a quote about how it is darkness that gives us the opportunity to see the light. I think I see the light now – I think I see the path, to healing and love and acceptance and understanding of it all. And that is all we can really ask of ourselves – to find our way in a manner that allows us to be in the light of love and happiness, if even just for a moment each day.