Make your whole summer feel like a vacation

Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.
– Chinese Proverb

Happy vacation-time!

Have you had a chance to get away yet? Are you taking advantage of the longer days and sunny weekends?  I hope you are honouring your need for rest and play — whether or not you’re able to take an extended holiday this summer.

I’m getting ready to head to the Okanagan for the long weekend. While I wanted to get a newsletter out before leaving, I’ve been challenged by low energy and a chest cold that just wouldn’t let go.  Once again I’ve discovered that “running on fumes” is not conducive to creative output!

So this issue I’m recycling some summer advice that has stood the test of time for me. Though I’m happy to say that my health is on the mend, I am still embracing my need for rest and relaxation.  I invite you to do the same. Summer affords such a wonderful opportunity to renew your relationship with yourself, as well as with your significant others. And it’s such a great chance to play!

Here are six tips for having a rejuvenating summer:

1)  Treat the whole summer as a holiday.   
Think of your times of work as short interruptions in a two month long vacation.   Let your work take place against the background of being on vacation.  Notice how differently the summer feels and how differently you may feel about your free time!

2)  Let the spirit move you into action.  
Don’t “make” yourself do anything this summer that isn’t absolutely essential.   Make play and rest the priority and wait until you spontaneously want to get things done, before starting them.  Once you’ve rested enough, you’ll spring into action.

3) Enjoy your senses!  
Summer offers a sensual feast!  Warm sun on your skin… the taste of fresh strawberries… the slippery coolness of swimming or ice cream….  Enjoy the pleasures that summer has to offer – they will nurture your body AND soul.

4) Share your needs and expectations.  
Let your family/partner know what you want and need this summer to rejuvenate.  Time alone? A change of pace?  Quiet reflection?  Exuberant activity?  Invite each member of your immediate family to share their expectations and hopes for the summer.  Then you can begin to make space for each other’s needs and wants – and plan a summer that gives everyone what is essential to them.

5) Celebrate your accomplishments and your relationships. 
Gather your “wins” from the first half of the year and give yourself a big pat on the back for all your efforts – whether or not everything worked out as expected.  As you celebrate each accomplishment or how you’ve grown, bring to mind all those individuals who have supported and encouraged you along the way.  Say a word of thanks for the richness of your life.

6) Listen to the whisperings of your soul.  
The insights and awareness you receive in the summer months can help you set the direction for the rest of your year.  Give yourself opportunities to be with yourself and listen within.  Time spent in nature or creative pursuits are perfect for this.  Let those deeper messages float to the surface and guide you.

I warmly wish for you and yours that perfect blend of relaxation and adventure!

Invitation to action

Keep on the look-out for ways to relax, enjoy and savour this summer season.  Watch out for those “shoulds” that can zap your life energy.  Choose what enlivens instead.

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