There is a song from the play, Porgy and Bess that says, “Summer time and the living is easy”. Summer is also an easy time to add new activities into your life and be happier. This month, I will share with you some simple things that you can do this summer in order to refill your “emotional energy pitcher” and have a more positive outlook on life.
In his new book, Be Happy: The Power of Happiness in You.” Dr. Robert Holden states that “it is possible to train yourself to be happy because your psychology of life creates the world you experience”. His study on happiness has been independently tested by psychologists and neuro-scientists, who recorded the amazing results that occur when people change their outlook. A new perspective will open up new possibilities which will shift your experience of the world and increase your happiness, and sense of well-being.
You experience happiness when you relax into your situation. Beginning today, make the intention to relax into the summer and have fun. Once again, review your life and let go of any “non-essentials”; things that do not have to be done right now. If you live in the Northeast, you have 3 months of extra daylight and warmer weather. Take advantage of it and make the decision to participate in everything fun this summer. If you live elsewhere, school is out and most people are in the “vacation” mode, so have a “mental” vacation from the ordinary.
Here are a few simple suggestions that will help you to enjoy this summer:
- Ground yourself with nature: If you live in the country, you can plant a garden, take a blanket and lay on the lawn while you look at the clouds, get a lawn chair and sit outside and read a book. You can go on an adventure: find a water source like a river, lake or ocean and spend some time beside it. Make sure that you at least wet your feet. If you are a city slicker: buy a patio plant for the fire escape and watch it grow, go to the park early in the morning or at the end of the day and sit on a bench, take off your shoes and feel the grass. Walk to a river or lake and hike along it or just sit on a blanket and relax.
- Commit to a 2 hour “Artist date” once a week. Julia Cameron in The Artist Way describes an “artist date as aimless play”. It is a play date that you preplan and commit to doing in order to nurture your creative inner being. When on an artist day, you travel solo as you set aside time to do something that makes you happy and renews your energy.
3. Wear colorful, fun clothes. Summer is a great time to wear color. Put the black and gray outfits in the back of the closet. Pull out or buy some vibrant clothes. It could be a fun belt, or a bright shirt. Also, go bare legged every opportunity that you can. If you are a woman, paint your toes red; every time you look at them you will feel happy.
- Stop and savor the moment. While you are out and about, stop and buy an ice cream cone, drink some ice tea or make a tall glass of lemonade. Then take the time to sit and enjoy it. Take a moment to watch the birds, or listen to street corner musicians.
- Spend time with the loved ones who bring you joy, especially children or grand children. You have a brief snap shot in time; enjoy your family while you can. As you let go of the non-essentials you will have more free time to take them on “adventures”. You can go to the beach, the park, a carnival or a parade. Go anywhere and do anything that makes you happy. Your joy will be contagious.
I have begun to practice what I preach and take the summer off. This will be my last tip until September. Since I am happily booked up this fall, I intend to have lots of fun the next few months in order to refill my emotional energy pitcher. In this way, I will be energized when I begin the Journey program again in a few months. As I free up my time, I plan to do the suggestions above and have as many adventures as possible. My hope is that you will do the same.
Live with your whole being all the days of your life. Your reward will
be true happiness. Rebecca Thomas Shane
Reflection Questions or Blog Comment:
Please share your ideas to inspire the other readers.
- What “non-essentials” could you let go of for the summer.
- Write down 5 “adventures” that you would like to have this summer.