Friday, June 21, 2019, was the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere. It was the longest day and the shortest night of the year, and the beginning of summer. The summer solstice is honored in several cultures as the union between heaven and earth. As we emerge out of spring, where we were in a period of renewal, birthing new ideas, and shedding icy layers, we slowly grow into summer, a time of manifestation and ripening of fruit. Summer is an ideal time to set intentions and state goals for the rest of the year. Below are suggestions for starting the summer off right.
– Unleash your spirit. The summer solstice enables us to take advantage of the light that can help us release burdens, doubts, and fears, so we can become open to new opportunities. Enjoy and bask in the sun. Connect with your inner child, and take time to play.
– Listen to your inner self. Pay attention to your dreams, sorrows and beliefs. Reflect on ideas that have been sizzling in your mind since spring. Ask yourself, “What progress have I made in the past year?” “What do I want to accomplish within the next year?” “What goals do I want to attain before the end of the year?” What can I do to attain these goals?” What people, resources, skills, and other do I need to attain my goals?”
– Make friends with your inner child. List things parents warned you about. Examine attitudes and beliefs you developed as a result of these teachings. Do admonitions like “Never question authority,” “Boys don’t cry,” apply today? Examining long-held beliefs opens you up to new ways of seeing things.
– Rise early. Watching the sun rise is a powerful reminder of nature’s cycles we often take for granted. Wake up with the sun. Watch it rise. When the sun is low in the sky, you can stare into it, fill your eyes and body with light.
– Restructure work time. List your job energizes and stressors. Concentrate on the positive responsibilities, and intersperse negative activities with short breaks and rewards. Avoid unnecessary meetings and delegate.
– Develop a positive outlook. See the glass half full instead of half empty. Reinforce the positive in yourself and others. Most of all, develop a sense of humor and learn to laugh at yourself. Smell the roses. Enjoy small pleasures such as walking in the park or watching toddlers play.
– Be active. The ancient Greeks and Romans saw real meaning in the summer solstice. Many festivals were held at this time. An important festival was the run-up to the Olympic games. The summer solstice marked the one-month count down to the athletic games. Start your new exercise regime during this summer solstice.
– Spring clean. For the ancient Romans, the summer solstice was time to celebrate the home and family. Use this summer solstice time to care for home and work chores like cleaning your work office or home attic.
– Plant a tree. For the ancient Chinese, the summer solstice was a time to celebrate the earth by giving back to it. Plant a tree in your backyard or a local park. Help clean up a public place or work with your neighbors to sweep trash off the streets.
– Have a bonfire, but ensure the fire is out before retiring for the night. Sitting around the bonfire and talking with friends, co-workers and family, may be the quintessential summer activity. It’s also what the ancient Vikings of Scandinavia did to celebrate the summer solstice.
– Plan a trip. The longer and warmer summer days allow travelers more time to see sights and explore cultural and geographic destinations. For example, Stonehenge in England, built by the Druids thousands of years ago, gathered at this remarkable landmark to mark the summer solstice.
– Express gratitude. Remind yourself of what you are grateful for. When you focus on what you have, rather than what you lack, you emanate the energy of abundance. And the truth is we all have something to be grateful for!
– Find something stimulating in each day. Seek challenges at work or in leisure activities. Respect yourself. Engage in positive self-talk. Tell yourself, “I’m OK just as I am,” or “I’m human and I’ll make mistakes.” Reward yourself. Realize that you don’t always have to prove anything or excel over others.
– Draw or doodle. Write a question that clearly states what you want to know. Underneath it, draw whatever flows though your hands. Use your intuitive skills to interpret the meaning and symbols in the drawing. Note the sequence of steps and your thoughts and feelings as you study the drawing.
– Play mental games like “what if….” These require a willingness to think freely, so don’t close doors on ideas. Resist thinking, “Don’t be silly!” or “That’s stupid.” Lose yourself in enjoyable activities daily. Exercise, sew, paint, sing, dance, write, start a scrapbook or photo album.
– Make something for yourself. Creativity feeds the soul and focuses the mind. Pick something you’ve always wanted to learn how to make. Soap! Beer! Bread! Jewelry! Leather stamping! Painting! Knitting! Go to your local craft or hardware store, or checkout YouTube and find something you’d like to learn how to do and do it!
– Make something for co-workers. Cut that soap up and wrap the bars individually in something you’ve designed. You can design a label for that microbrew you made and give a bottle to coworkers! Getting something homemade means more to many.
– Host a potluck for co-workers. It’s a wonderful time to reach out to people you’d like to get to know better. You’d be surprised how much fun you’ll have and how many work colleagues you will know better.
– Limit time you spend on social media. Social networks can be great for connecting but they can also sometimes skew how we perceive ourselves and other people. We can be fooled into feeling as if everyone else’s lives are so much better than our own, but they’re not really. Most of us try to show our best selves on social networks and we should. But there are times when it’s better just to turn it off.
– Strengthen at least one Quester trait to add spice to life. Tips for developing Quester skills like confidence, purpose, creativity, and resilience are found in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life: http://www.amazon.com/Questers-Dare-Change-Your-Life/dp/1508408963
Author bio: Carole Kanchier, PhD, is a registered psychologist, coach, internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, and author of award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life. Carole Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz and University of Alberta, and served as visiting fellow at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, and other institutions of higher learning. Dr. Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org