Though it's currently winter in Cusco, to me it still feels like summer. The anticipation of time, open space, sun rays, and plenty of moments to savor. To me, summer is a season to take in, let loose, and enjoy.
This time it's a bit different since I'm overseas, yet I feel the same anticipation in my spirit, longing to savor and enjoy and taste true life. I recently wrote an article for a friend who owns her own personal training / nutrition coaching business and she asked about my beliefs on health. I thought for a while and answered that I think the most freeing way to approach health is to view it as something to enjoy, rather than something to fear or shame.
I've done too many things out of shame. And I know enough to know it's not how life is meant to be lived. As the first official day of summer approaches, I think to myself that my summer goals should be things to enjoy, like my health. The months leading up to summer can be spent performing and reaching, perfecting this and that for the arrival of summer. Now that summer is here, take a breath, pause, and give yourself permission to savor.
If you need a starting place for your summer goals, see the questions below. I hope you take time to breathe deeply, rest, pause, savor, and enjoy.
1. Pay attention to how you feel entering this new season.
Are you tired, ragged, exhausted, and in desperate need of rest and a little extra space? Or are you feeling excited, motivated, and anxious to experience all that's before you? Maybe you're somewhere in between, but once you're aware of how your spirit feels, use this as a starting point to determine your needs and rhythms.
2. Identify where you want to be come August or September.
What do you want to receive or build or be? Think about your needs heading into this season and imagine the finish line. Take a moment to imagine your life at the end of this season and paint a picture for yourself. Now identify two or three areas you'd like to focus on in order to achieve that end. Maybe it's your health or a new skill or time spent with the people you love.
3. Think about what you enjoy most about summer.
Is it days at the pool, fresh watermelon, roadtrips to the beach, or hours with your summer reading list? Once you identify your favorite summer pastimes, make a list of two or three you want to prioritize this summer.
4. Ask yourself what would stand in the way of you getting what you need and enjoying this summer?
Is it comparison or your inability to say no? Is it the little lie in the back of your head that makes you feel obligated and ashamed? Bring it to the light, write it down, and tell yourself out loud you're not going there this summer.
5. Try something new.
Make a list of a couple things you've been wanting to try but haven't found the time for. Maybe there's a new restaurant in your neighborhood your friends have raved out or a new recipe you found online. Maybe you've always wanted to learn to surf or play tennis. Pick a couple and then schedule a time to try each one!
I hope that by following these five steps, you'll step into Fall refreshed and full, ready for the next season and thankful for the last.