40 Ways to Really Enjoy a Summer Practicing Conscious Awareness

 

Welcome to this week’s wisdom for the Inner and Outer You.

In Toronto where I am, we are currently experiencing a lot of rain. I love the rain, it sounds great when falling asleep and nourishes all green growing life. Just ask my lawn, it’s growing like crazy!

I hope this weeks article gives you some good ideas to follow up on. Enjoy and don’t forget to report back and let know how it goes!

40 Ways to Really Enjoy a Summer Practicing Conscious Awareness

Ever struggle with the sense that time is moving much too quickly? Do summers seem to be getting shorter?

Do you often feel that there is just too much to do for you to relax and enjoy yourself during the summer months? After all there are a whole lot of obligations you are responsible for, from taking care of chores around home to taking care of the needs of your children; oh and let’s not forget that other full time job called working for a living.

Yes, it can seem that you are living a life of routine and all too often routine means going through the motions without awareness.

You know what I mean; I’m sure you have probably experienced it many times before. Things like the drive home from work where sometimes you forget how you even got home because your mind was somewhere else. This is where your unconscious mind takes over and directs your way through mere habit without you having to think about it.  What about when you leave home only to turn back a minute later wondering if you locked the door or not? You simply can’t seem to remember. A quick check and sure enough, it’s locked. How is it possible that you don’t remember doing it?

When we lead busy lives it’s pretty hard to remember everything.  As we get older our most common habits and behaviours run on automatic. This means that we are not always fully aware of our situation; we simply act out a routine, and time usually slips by without even noticing. So if you want to experience more time during your summer it’s simple, be more present in what you do. Approach even the simplest task with your full awareness, with mindfulness. I know, it sounds a little funny to think you don’t do that already but I’m encouraging you to give it a whirl so you will appreciate the difference.

Instead of running through the summer literally, how about instead creating a summer resolution to take a little time to do things like stop and look at the petals of  roses and smell them too. Take a little time to be fully present and aware each day of the moment and you will naturally de-stress and savour more. Rather than being run ragged by all that you do, why not ease through the summer and get so much more from it. Don’t let yourself be ruled by routines and the never-ending, always-growing To-Do list, instead make time and space for pure, unfettered fun in the moment.

Make a pact with yourself to fill your summer days with joy. Here are 40 summer things you can do. If you do them fully present you might be surprised how much more time you have created simply by being more mindful. If you would like to see more added to the list please send me your suggestions and I will include them and grow the list.

1. Make stepping stones

2.  Wash your bike or car with mindfulness

3. Take 15 minutes and do nothing but listen to different bird songs

4. Take a hike with mindfulness

5. Swim and notice each movement

6. Look only up at the stars for a full 15 minutes

7. Organize a group meditation afternoon or evening

8. Run through a waterfalls, fountain or sprinkler

9. Make a meal from scratch with love

10. Toss water balloons with care

11. Look for earth worms on the lawn with a flash light at night

12. Organize a game of Play Red Rover, freeze tag, and hide-n-go seek and play for a few hours on end.

13. Put up a bird feeder and admire all who visit it

14. Find a kid with a lemonade stand, buy some and let them know how much you appreciate their service

15. Donate a day to volunteer for a charity with mindfulness

16. Catch fireflies and marvel at the light

17. See if you can spot a bat or bats when it’s starting to get dark

18. Build a fort with your kids in your place and sleep in it.

19. Go camping and experience the basics of living like the early settlers

20. Go for a long bike ride and feel the wind on your face

21. Have a picnic at the park and count how many squirrels you see

22. Toss a Frisbee effortlessly for half an hour

23. Sit outside and watch how ants overcome obstacles

24. Try a new game you have never played before like croquet, badminton, bocce ball or Frisbee golf

25. Find a swing and feel what it’s like to kick your feet up high into the air

26. Whirl around on the grass until you get dizzy

27. Plant a small vegetable or flower garden and admire its growth each day

28. Build a kind of Inuksuk like the Inuit’s do

29. Float on a an inner tube or raft mattress and noticed the smallest wave

30. Light a candle outside at night and watch the flame dance for 15 minutes straight

31. Eat an ice cream cone slowly just ahead of its melting

32. Jump a rope and find your rhythm

33. Turn over stones in a field or garden and see what is living underneath

34. Find a creek and look for minnows, small fish, crawfish or salamanders

35. Blow soap bubbles and observe where they go

36. Take a leisurely drive in the country side and take pictures of things you see and like

37. Go horseback riding and thank the horse for the time you spent with it

38. Play zennis…that’s the game of tennis but be in the moment and totally Zen like

39. Find a sauna or hot springs near a cool lake, cool pool or glacier run off…so you can dip from one to the other immediately. Notice your reaction.

40. Practice Tai Chi, Yoga, Chi Kung, meditation, martial arts or dance freely… outside

-Terry Hodgkinson

The following additions are from people who wrote in:

41. Contributed by Vique Mora who lives near Los Angeles – Yes like holding the Stanley cup in your hands and enjoying every moment of it 🙂

42. Contributed by Monica Wesolowski – I love waking up early and getting to the beach before anyone is around and watching the sun rise and listening to the waves hit the sand.

 

Quote for the week:

“The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, worry about the future, or anticipate troubles, but to live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
— Buddha

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About Terry Hodgkinson

Terry J. Hodgkinson is a MindFit consultant. He owns Positive Changes Hypnotherapy and Meditation Centre in Toronto, Canada. As a corporate trainer, keynote speaker and retreat leader he enjoys his work so much that he calls it his passion. In 2009 Terry's book, Memoirs of a Wandering Ninja - Walking the Path of Enlightenment was published. *For information on Terry's international retreats visit: www.TaoJourneys.com *Book Terry for your next event visit: www.TerryHodgkinson.ca *Martial arts training visit: www.ChungFuMartialArts.com
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