If a friend were to ask you “how is your summer going” how would you answer? Honestly.
Probably the most common answer I hear is… busy. I’ve said it more times than I can remember. Except for this summer. I knew at the end of May I needed a break. The things I usually enjoyed doing exhausted me. I felt tired. Actually, more liked drained. And after the passing of my dad on father’s day, I felt that last ounce of energy sink into a brain fog. I needed to rest, deeply.
So I intentionally pulled back my summer teaching schedule, said no to many opportunities, and actually scheduled in breaks (like white holes in my planner!) I was relieved. And worried! What would I do with this “spare” time? Catch up on house projects? Come up with the next yoga series? Finally, put those family photos in an album? (yes, I still do that, I’m old school). But, I had zero motivation to do any of that. I couldn’t seem to enjoy my down time.
My mind would chime in with ego based thoughts like…
“you might be missing out on something!”
“you should really post on Instagram before people forget you’re
alive and that you still teach for a living!”
“you will fall behind on all those projects your started!”
“you won’t have enough time!!!”
Even though I had less to do and my physical body was resting, I was unable to embrace the gift of a slower pace because my mind was incessantly busy. Add to that the pressure of my neurotic way of processing the feelings of grief from my dad’s recent passing. His death ushered in a sense of urgency to leave a legacy and “don’t let life pass by with my music still in me” (from the late Wayne Dyer).
Have I done everything I have wanted to in this life? No!
Would I have any regrets if life is at it is now? Yes!
Will my daughters remember me as a role model for pursuing their dreams? I don’t think so, because there is SO much more I need to experience with however many years I am gifted in this body. And it is never a guarantee it will be til old age!
Round and round my tornado of thoughts increased as I sat in meditation. It was not relaxing. At. All.
I also knew that this time was necessary for my spiritual evolution. I know that my Intuition cannot come through when all I can think about is the next thing on my to do list or how I’m falling behind on work related tasks. I desired to align with my Spirit’s higher calling for me, but the inner volume was way too loud and frequent. I decided to get busy on dismantling the addiction of mental clutter. In order to cultivate a sense of deep, restorative peace while still maintaining my sanity as a householder, I started to adapt to a slower pace of mind.
Here is what I have found useful on the journey:
Walk outside in the morning with bare feet on the grass with dew- perfect for grounding and connecting with Earth energy
Schedule a limited number of times to check email, social media, etc. so as to prevent the random and frequent checking throughout the day, which just perpetuates the scattered thinking.
Reduce notifications on the cell phone. Every time we hear a bing! It’s like Pavlov’s dog syndrome. Just turn them off (at least temporarily).
Create your own ceremony. Most afternoons I take a short tea or cacao break and savor the smell, flavor and beauty. Be fully present with the experience.
Reduce the number of books/podcasts/audios to ONE at a time (this is a hard one for me personally). But I realized I continued to fill up my mind with more and more information thus draining my mental capacity.
Meditate outside. Open your eyes and focus on one piece of nature (flower, sky, leaf, whatever calls you in).
A gentle yoga practice focused on the spine, which is our energetic connection to support and stability. I have a free Yoga for Low Back Care Practice you can access.
What else helps you mentally de-clutter so you can enjoy your times of rest and fully restore? Let me know in the comments! Although I am still in the processing of this summer break, my Intention is to connect to that which feels lighter, freer and more at ease for whatever is to come. Holding expectations loosely. Being more mindful, present and joy-filled.
And that is how healing begins…
I am a big proponent of guided meditations to cultivate more mindfulness. Follow me on Insight Timer for free guided meditations.