“With mindfulness, you can establish yourself in the present in order to touch the wonders of life that are available in that moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Take advantage of this wonderful time of warmth, light and natural beauty by welcoming some of these summer mindfulness opportunities into your day. Mindfulness is, arguably, easier to find in the Summertime than any other time of the year, so why not take advantage of this ‘low hanging fruit’. For in Summertime, if you are manifesting mindfulness, the likelihood is that it will come to you with greater ease.
Manifesting is a powerful action, of course, but you need not put much conscious effort into action to enjoy some of the following mindfulness moments.
1. Ditch Your Schedule… Sometimes
Although they are supposed to be relaxing, Summer breaks and holidays abroad, often come with vast ‘to-do’ lists. This is especially true if you are holidaying with the family. So rare is quality leisure time in the modern, constantly connected world, that we can become overwhelmed by pressuring ourselves to squeeze as much ‘stuff’ as possible. I’m not, to be clear, saying you should ditch the list of fun stuff to do entirely, however, I do suggest that you schedule (ironically) periods of unscheduled time. Time in which to do absolutely nothing. Take these moments to enjoy just being, or to just see where the mood takes you.
Practice gratitude. The summer, and the holidays that come with them, are so fleeting. So, take time to notice all the good that you are experiencing, and to really appreciate it. Time really does fly. Ans also, be in the moment. When you are in the midst of holiday bliss, dwell not on what is to follow. Do not muddy your relaxation time with worry that can wait for later.
3. A Day Without Your Screens
We constantly bombard our brains with stimuli. Even if you are doing ‘nothing’, it is fairly likely that that ‘nothing’ does in fact include scrolling or being engaged with a device of some kind. Ditch all your technology for a day and you will find that you pull enjoyment and engagement from the world around you and notice things you never noticed before. It is odd to add first, but the experience is ultimately liberating and refreshing.
4. A Stroll
There is no better way to take advantage of your technology-free day than to take a walk. Take to the streets, the woods, the beach or the hills and see what beauty you can find to appreciate. There is always something to enjoy.
In our normal busy lives, meditation ether has to be incorporated into our daily routine or squeezed into our schedules amidst other commitments. Summer offers longer stretches of relaxation time, especially with its enticing ‘long evenings’. So, put aside some of this for a good long slice of meditation time. If you can, take yourself out into nature. Holidays in new places offer an opportunity to meditate in new surroundings offering new and invigorating sensory experiences.
Where winter is the season in which we want to huddle, bunker down and nest, summer is the complete opposite. Embrace the space and openness of this time of year by clearing a room, or even your whole home if you have the inclination, to make your living space feel fresh and free. Also, personal wellbeing, I find, always benefits from a good declutter!
7. Eat in Silence
Turn off the T.V and do away with the noise and chit chat you normally engage in while eating. Try, just for one meal, to eat in silence. Notice the act of eating, the smells and textures you experience. Mealtimes offer an ideal nugget of time in which to live in the moment and be mindful of your activity.
8. What’s New?
There is always something new going on during the summer. Take the time and good weather you are given in the summer to try out something new. We always make excuses for not trying new things; we don’t have time, we are too tired, there isn’t anything on offer. These things are much less valid reasons in the summer. Give something a go; canoeing, cooking, pottery, dance, climbing, whatever tickles your fancy.
By Chris Thomson
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