I consider myself lucky. I have the most amazing husband, live in an awesome place, have lovely friends, eat great food, have what I consider abundant resources, a beautiful life. But sometimes in the summer, I need to keep reminding myself of that.
Living in a tourist destination within a tourist destination and working in a tourist-y trade, gardens, long nights, boat rides, endless visitors who think your whole life is a vacation, starts to wear on me right about now.
This is the time of summer where I'd just as soon as move somewhere far more desolate. The Olympic Peninsula and Iceland come to mind, but I think the switch may as well be here, just a little further from civilization. It's been a long time coming. We shall see how that pans out. But do remind me of all this come next year.
In the meantime, I feel blessed to able to amble in our friend's lovely labyrinth of utterly magical plants, any night, every night if I wish, on my way home.
It doesn't take much really.
Ten minutes of walking around aimlessly, watching our bees (because surely they are our own sweet bees-no one else has any around our neck of the woods) feast on the blooms, watching and marveling at plant-friends and I feel, a heck of a lot calmer, better, more ready to face the world, to tackle the tasks necessary for another day.
Sometimes I do walking meditation, or a small mantra under my breath.
One of my all time favorite meditation tools in busy, taxing times like these, is a simple exercise aimed at letting go of the unnecessary emotions our egos push on us constantly.
Instead of wallowing in irritation, self-pity, emotional tiredness, you encounter each feeling that comes to mind by naming it and then sending it on its way.
You see them coming, recognize them, acknowledge the weaknesses in your character, or the circumstances beyond your control that lead to them.
Impatience. Frustration. Sadness. You name them, look at them objectively and let go of them rather than just sitting in their negative sphere. In meditation you're supposed to let go of the good ones too, because you're dodging the traps your mind sets to keep you occupied and not empty, but when I'm just unwinding from my day, or getting ready for the last part of it, I encounter those feelings as allies passing by.
Love. Joy. Delight. You acknowledge them and hold onto them dearly, but also don't dwell on them, just walk on, content with what you've got and what you've let go of. They're just feelings. They don't define who I am.
In the Labyrinth this exercise is easy to perform, but I try to remember it other times too, when I feel sad or low energy, it helps me keep on the right track.
If you haven't, you should try it sometime.
How's your summer? And how do you unwind from it?