I encourage you all to try this exercise I just made up and loved. The result will put a smile on your face….I promise. It’s a cocktail of mindfulness meets gratitude meets intentional goal setting.
Because if you are like me and have been obsessed with the news, dealing with family issues, family health issues, financial concerns, friend issues and other worries then you deserve to have a summer.
There’s so much bad news these days, too much. I am guilty of reading twitter and more in the middle of the night. Last night I thought about global politics and couldn’t sleep. It’s been this way for months and months.This last week has been particularly disturbing.
So, to launch my summer, I’ve decided to do what I do at the beginning of each yoga class I either take or teach, I try to set an intention. And…. I’m starting right here on this page.
Although I’m tempted to judge myself about this intention as it seems a tad indulgent, I’m going to put aside that judgement and do this exercise because I think it will stop the free flow of non stop media from entering my happy space. There’s always time to catch up with the news each day however, I want to exert a daily policy of containment and assign myself limited finite exposure.
This summer I’m committing to fun. I will read a book because I WANT to, not have to. If I want to watch the next 2 seasons of Poldark on a rainy afternoon…I’m going to.
I’m way past the years of beating myself up. This kinder approach over the next 8 to 10 weeks is what I’m after.
Without getting into the details of my challenges that lie ahead, I’ve decided that most of my waking time, when possible, will be committed to laughing more, playing as much as possible, napping and eating great food.
I know this sounds indulgent but I’m committing to having a happy summer in the moments and days that I CAN control.
So, when my friend asked me yesterday what I was looking forward to this summer, I thought about it and this is what I came up with.
I am setting my summer of joy intention as a way to jump start this season:
- Dancing. Over this past weekend after dinner at a friends’ house, our host turned up the music and we all danced late into the night. We danced in the living room, the back yard, we danced and danced and laughed. I’m making sure to turn up the music and dance with friends as a regular thing.
- Turning on music. Speaking of music, I’m planning on turning on the music everyday. I love music and often times I forget to turn it on. I’m from a family of musicians and it’s in my bones and it makes me happy, so when I’m cooking, cleaning and hanging out…the music is going on.
- I’m going to make sure my gratitude list gets said out loud every morning. (To myself).
- Discovery: I’m going to hike a trail on my island at least once a week. I love the island of Martha’s Vineyard and have been involved in launching a new App, called TrailsMV which connects all the trails on our island. I’m going to discover some new places on my island after 50 years of spending summers there.
- Talk to my dog more. My dog Jazz is 13 years old and I’m guilty of bypassing her to rush out to an activity. This summer Jazz and I are going to have a morning chat when we have our walk. She is the best listener and always smiles when I talk to her (she is my best friend).
- I’m planning on cooking really healthy food this summer and eating plenty of it. My body is so happy when I’m eating my concoctions. That means less eating out and more dinners at home with friends and pot lucks where we get to control what we eat.
- Gardening is on my list, I’m going to make sure to put my hands in the soil a few days a week because I love to do that. Maybe I’ll even get some goodies to cook with this summer if I pay attention to my veggies and herbs. The August tomatoes are the best payoff of gardening time.
- I plan to write every day because it is deeply satisfying and I am going to push forward on a new writing project that I am hoping to unfold over the next year. Writing puts a smile after the first 15 minutes…pretty much every time.
- I plan on being nice to myself when I play my beloved golf and tennis. These are competitive sports that I love to play with friends. I plan on enjoying it —— the winning and losing games —- all of them.
- I plan to be more playful. Not just go out for 30 to 40 miles training rides like it’s work. After all, it is my 32nd year riding the Pan Mass Callenge (PMC), a truly fabulous fundraiser, but it’s getting a bit grueling, so I’m going to try to have more fun training for it. And I plan to raise alot of money for cancer once again and you are welcome to support me in this effort.
The list is actually way longer than this but as I’m intending to relax and play, I’m starting with this list and see how far I get.
What’s on your list for the next 8 to 10 weeks?