Many of us first arrive at our spiritual practices in the summer. There is something about the changing pace of our lives during these months that makes it easier to devote time to grow and look inwards. An idyllic time to hit the retune and retreat from whatever drains you.
A time to pause and wait for the energy planted in the Spring to reach full bloom.
If the Spring season signifies action, the Summer epitomizes patience. Itrepresents the transition from action to nourishment, which is exactly what the Sun gives us during the long nights of summer, both to our harvests and also to the continual journey we traverse from darkness to light. Summer reminds us that there is hope in the world, that the light within can spread to the far reaches of the world and inspire others. Summer becomes a time to work on ourselves and our ability to be the light and find meaning in our journey, even when it seems uncertain. This is the rhythm of nature; new beginnings transition into a period of uncertainty.
Here are a few ways to help us with self-healing during the summer season:
- Clear out the old. Sit quietly for a few moments thinking about your fears, regrets, and sorrows. Now is the time to let go of the old stories that keep you small. The past is over, so make space for the new.
- Play like a kid again. Let the child in you come out to play. Taking off your shoes changes your connection with the world. You relax and let your guard down. So, play in the garden or in the open space. It is good for the skin to touch Earth and the soil is soothing, grounding, cleansing, and healing.
- Feast on summer treats. Have a picnic with summer fruits, grilled vegetables, and a great summer salad. Add some lemonade or iced herbal tea. Invite your neighbours or friends to join in the festivities.
- Cherish moments of summer stillness. J. Krishnamurti observed in Meditations: “As you watched, a great stillness came into you. The brain itself became very quiet, without any reaction, without a movement, and it was strange to feel this immense stillness. ‘Feel’ isn’t the word. The quality of that silence, that stillness, is not felt by the brain; it is beyond the brain…You are so still that your body becomes completely part of the Earth, part of everything that is still. And as the light breeze came from the hills, stirring the leaves, this stillness, this extraordinary quality of silence, was not disturbed.” Find a place where you can experience this kind of stillness.
- Take in the wonders of sunsets. Look at the colours in the sky at sunset. The day that is diminishing away is like your inner being that is changing little by little, that has the freedom to transform, to grow. Look into these colours of the sunset and notice the ‘being’ that you are, which is renewing. As you watch a sunset, deliberate on the shades and divergences in your life. Say goodbye to those parts of yourself you wish to transform or discard as the Sun dips behind the horizon.
- Listen to your body. Summer is an ideal time to pay attention to your body. You will have opportunities to soothe and comfort it through water and warmth and to develop it through exercise and extra rest. Listen to your body and see what it needs the most. As Miguel Ruiz says, “Also, go inside and listen to your body, because your body will never lie to you. Your mind will play tricks, but the way you feel in your heart, in your guts, is the truth.”
- Unlock your creativity. This time of year, your soul desires creativity. Summertime holds a particular type of charm to it that somehow gives us permission to expand our thinking and creativity. It’s the perfect time to visit museums, take vacations, go on adventures, and go out of our way to create ‘experiences’ during the summer.
The sights and sounds of summer can instantly offer a “refresh” moment in our lives. Fresh air, sunny skies, and warmer temperatures invite us outdoors. The relaxed and less-hectic pace of the summer months also gives us a chance to slow down, reflect, and reconnect with ourselves and our friends. How do you plan to spend your summer?