Sunday, June 23, 2013

Self-care and the Fullness of Summer ...

And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves ...
I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning 
over again with the summer.

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Hi everyone - Happy Summer Solstice for yesterday!

Summer is finally here - the season of growth, ripening, fullness and veriditas when white blossoms turn into plump berries, trees become lush symphonies of green, and orchards hang heavy with a cornucopia of sun-warmed fruits. It can also be a time for growth and ripening in our own lives.

Traditionally, the summer months provide us with time to slow our pace, to rest and refresh, and to nurture our creative gifts. There is more time to listen in the silence, to reconnect with the rhythms of nature and to ponder whatever fresh springs are arising from deep within us.

As we make time to feed our empty-ish bodies and souls through living more simply and well - resting, reading, meditating, exercising, resting, connecting, eating well, resting - we may find that our hearts begin to fill with a sense of restoration and gratitude. And we may begin to experience a deep contentment. As author, Christine Paintner, says:
This (contentment) isn't a kind of resigned feeling of being happy with what you have, but a vibrant, even ecstatic joy at the abundance of life. To feel gratitude and awe that we have anything at all, much less a home, work, food, health, and friendship, knowing that any one of those is grace enough.
From this filling up and its vibrant contentment, can come a reawakening of our creative juices. Ideas for life changes, new projects and artistic expression can bubble into our consciousness, unbidden. Thoughts can flow with ease. We find that there is, once again, a feeling of aliveness, fullness and abundance within us.

It all begins with a choice to start over once again - to slow the pace and take small steps toward improving our self care. What about you? Are there places in your life that need a chance to fill up and grow into juicy ripeness this summer? What are your plans for this season of abundance? Is there any way at all that you can s-l-o-w things down and intentionally make some space for your own restoration? If you need some encouragement to make this choice, try reading Christine Paintner's recent and wonderful poem about feeling your body and spirit come back to life as the sap rises:

How to Feel the Sap Rising
(A poem for summer)

Walk as slowly as possible,
all the while imagining 
yourself moving through
pools of honey and dancing with
snails, turtles, and caterpillars.

Turn your body in a clockwise direction
to inspire your dreams to flow upward. 
Imagine the trees are your own
wise ancestors offering their emerald
leaves to you as a sacred text.

Lay yourself down across the earth
and stones. Feel the vibration of
dirt and moss, sparking a tiny
(or tremendous)
revolution in your heart
with their own great longing.

Close your eyes and forget this
border of skin. Imagine the
breeze blowing through your hair
is the breath of the forest and
your own breath joined, rising and
falling in ancient rhythms.

Open your eyes again and see it
is true, that there is no "me" and "tree"
but only One great pulsing of life,
one sap which nourishes and 
enlivens all, one great nectar
bestowing trust and wonder.

Open your eyes and see that there
are no more words like beautiful
and ugly, good and bad,
but only the shimmering presence of your
own attention to life.

Only one great miracle unfolding and
only one sacred word which is

Christine Valters Painter

Happy summer!

No comments: