“Summer is about expansion—getting out there—and really going for it. It’s about living life with fervor, allowing yourself to be wild and free, and to do those things that, until now, you’ve filed away in your ‘someday list.'”
- Dina Voigt
Summer Is Its Own Therapy
Summer on Long Island Long Island comes “alive” this time of year! Longer and warmer days are upon us! Everywhere you look, you see people walking with their dogs, riding bicycles, jogging, etc. The Great South Bay comes alive with boats, jet skis, paddleboards, and other watercraft! People flood the beaches with their umbrellas and coolers to spend the day on the ocean with their toes in the sand. Thoughts of these images make me smile! Besides giving us necessary doses of vitamin D, being outdoors on sunny summer days is therapeutic to so many!
These sunny summer days calm us down and bring a sense of “peace” into us, even as our days get busier, filled with more activity and spontaneity. After last year, with the Covid shutdowns and restrictions, the arrival of this summer season brings with it an entirely different sense of “freedom,” intertwined with some anxious energy.
Up Steps Meditation
We all faced unprecedented challenges over this past year. Many of our fundamental beliefs were (and still are) being challenged. Many people came to me for information and advice, asking me for techniques to help keep them connected and to quell anxious feelings and sad thoughts. Meditation is a great tool to help reduce stress and anxious feelings.
Many people are intimidated by the word “meditation.” There are different types of Meditation and mindfulness. Here is a basic definition of Meditation:
“Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique such as mindfulness or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.
Scholars have found Meditation elusive to define, as practices vary both between traditions and within them.”
Many people are surprised at how easy it is to incorporate meditation techniques into their daily lives and equally surprised at the benefits once they do.
With the arrival of summer, I would like to share the following guided Meditation to welcome summer. I did not create this particular Meditation; it is from the Chopra Foundation and is great for beginners!
GUIDED MEDITATION FOR EMBRACING SUMMER:
As you prepare to embrace the energy of the summer season, think about the things you love to do and how you like to shine. Maybe you have a unique talent or special gift you already enjoy sharing with those around you—like playing your acoustic guitar around the campfire or being the family grill master—or perhaps you’re feeling inspired to explore something new this summer.
Try this guided Meditation to tune in and connect with the aspects of summer that are awake and alive within you.
Find a comfortable seat on your couch, chair, or in your favorite place in nature.
Settle into your body by connecting with your breath—slowly inhaling through your nose, slowly exhaling through your mouth. Notice how your body and mind begin to soften and relax.
Visualize yourself someplace in nature during the early summer. You might be walking along a riverbank, sitting in the shade beneath your favorite tree, or standing barefoot in the grass.
Allow the light and warmth of the sun to permeate you. Maybe you feel a light breeze across your face and the sound of trickling water or birds chirping from the trees in the distance. You might pick up the scent of jasmine coming from your garden or wildflowers along the river’s edge. Breathe in the balmy warmth of the summer air and settle more deeply into a relaxed state.
Begin now to open your heart and mind to what is possible this summer. Imagine the light of the sun illuminating the corners in your mind where you haven’t ventured in a while. Invite yourself to dream of:
What lights you up or makes you come alive?
What ignites your creativity?
What environment do you thrive in most, and what do you love doing?
What would you like to create or transform this summer?
Imagine doing something so wildly spontaneous that it breaks you free from your current routine and catapults you toward something new, exciting, and fun. If you could create anything in your life, what would that be? Would you dare to do it?
Travel someplace new (even if it’s just a day trip or a weekend getaway)?
Take up a new hobby like surfing, gardening, painting, or horseback riding?
Make new connections through social groups and activities?
Try new things by saying “Yes” to every invite you get this summer?
Bring it all together in a picture or movie clip and watch yourself embracing the fun of summer. See yourself interacting with others, having new adventures, and allowing your playful, childlike nature to come alive. Now, ask yourself what you need to do to make it all a reality. What action do you need to take that is different from how you are living now?
Now, as you embrace summer and feel the excitement of what you can create for yourself, commit to doing one new thing each day or each week that lights you up and makes you happy.
When you feel ready, take a few slow, deep breaths and slowly open your eyes. Take out your journal and a pen and write down the things you are committed to doing this summer that will ignite your passion, fuel your creativity, and lead to loads of spontaneity and fun.
Summer is more than the fun things you do—it’s how you go about the things you do and the intention behind them. Are you doing things that fulfill you, bring you more joy, and connect you more deeply to others? Are you saying yes to adventure, taking in every moment of every experience, and savoring life every day?
Get Out There!
Summer is about expansion—getting out there—and really going for it. It’s about living life with fervor, allowing yourself to be wild and free, and to do those things that, until now, you’ve filed away in your “someday list.” Embrace your summer season in a way that supports a harmony between relaxing downtime and having meaningful, unforgettable experiences.
If you have any questions or would like more information on meditation and meditation techniques, please do not hesitate to email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author
Dina Voigt is the Manager of Fitness Incentives Pilates and Yoga programs. She is a PMA-certified Pilates trainer, a certified Yoga instructor, a Personal Trainer, Group exercise instructor, and Cycle instructor.
Contact her at email@example.com with any questions or for further information.