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Summer survival guide for winter lovers

Summer survival guide for winter lovers

Floating in the ocean

Who needs a survival guide for summer?  Come on, everything’s bright and happy and spacious and fun!  What’s there to survive?  How could those cold, icy dark days of winter compete?   For some (ok, me!), summer can be a little too hot sometimes, a little too in-your-face.  I find myself longing for the dark peacefulness of winter and the opportunities it presents for introspection and rest.

Those opportunities may not be quite as evident in the summer, but they are still here and they are still necessary.  Just as in the darkest time of year, there’s a touch of light (most of our December holidays involve honoring that in some way), there’s a touch of winter in the summertime.

There definitely is a natural expansion this time of year that we can see in the world around us and experience in ourselves.  Everything’s ripening in the garden.  There’s a lot more people out and about.  There are festivals.  Parties.  Frolicking bunnies.  And long, long days.  It was still dusky around 9:45 last night!  There’s more space, more activity, more joy.  It is a beautiful thing.

While it’s good to align yourself with this expansiveness in the summer by being more active and more social, this doesn’t mean you have to be engaging with people all day long or burn yourself out.  You can do summer your way.  If you tend to be more introverted, just expand yourself a little and bring a bit of winter into summer.

No, I don’t mean tracking a bunch of dirty snow and salt into a summer soiree when I say bringing winter into summer.  Picture the utter peace of looking out at a snow-covered field.  The impossible quietness of falling snow.  The cocoon of darkened evenings.  Mash all that up, distill it, and add one drop to your summer experience.  What might that look like?

First, simply drinking enough water and eating cooling foods like watermelon, cucumber, strawberries, lettuce.  You don’t want to overdo it if you tend to run cold or have digestive issues, but it’s definitely ok to partake in more cooling foods in the summertime.  Hibiscus tea is delightful.

Exercise in the early morning when it’s still a little cool or in the evenings when the sun is starting to set.

Keep up your meditation practice (or start one!).  Check out more about why I love meditation in this post I wrote last year.  

Be around water.  One of my favorite things to do is float on my back in the ocean, feeling the sun warming me and sensing the incredible depth beneath me. No ocean trips planned?  Get out on one of our rivers in a kayak. Swimming in pools is great too or even just hiking alongside streams.

We have the chance to find stillness in every moment, no matter how busy we are.  Between even every inhale and exhale, there’s a tiny pause.  Find that metaphorical pause in all of your activities, and you can infuse the quick pace of summer with the quiet of winter.   There’s an acupuncture point called Illuminated Sea that captures this – joy and brightness reflected on the surface and great depth inside.

And for all you winter lovers out there: we think of the summer solstice as the first day of summer.  But actually, it’s more like the peak.  From this point onward, the days are getting shorter, so slowly we barely notice, but we are heading towards hazy August and eventually the sharp descent into winter.

(If you love summer and can’t get enough of the heat, just pretend you didn’t read that last part.  Yay!  It’s the start of summer!)

(Image source: joshbousel)

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