As a child summer was my favorite time. I got to spend my summers in a little town in the Pacific Northwest on a beautiful river. I would get up early and head out to explore. This little town has the most distinct fragrance about it. The smell is so fresh and full of life. I ended up moving there full time when I was in high school. After living someplace permanently, you start to forget the magic about it. It becomes part of your reality and you start taking it for granted. Well, I made the decision to move away and, after a couple of moves, ended up in the town I now call home. Now, in my older and wiser version of myself, I can appreciate more fully this beautiful place I used to call home. This is the place I long for every day, but especially during the summer. My sweet town I currently live in is wonderful on so many levels, but the heat in the summer really physically hurts me each year. So, each summer I spend my days longing for my personal oasis. I long to live back on that river. I have 2 children and an ex-husband, so moving to my paradise is not an option right this minute.
For the time being, I need to just make the most of my home here. When I create my sanctuary, do the daily practices that align me with who I want to be and how I want to live, I feel more at peace. I have an easier time accepting where I live at this time in my life, even if it's not the most ideal for me.
One of the best practices I have, that really just makes me think, "Yeah, I DO love summer!" is to eat a succulent watermelon while the juice drips down my arms. I just love it. What fruit makes you smile? I know, it sounds silly, but it just aligns me with my peace. I really enjoy attending the Farmer's Market and visiting with vendors, getting to know them, and getting the fresh, local produce to nourish my body. The community you create for yourself when you do this can also help to nourish your soul.
I practice yoga daily as well, and during the heat of the summer that can be a challenge to stay motivated. If you miss that early morning window to practice before it gets too hot, you can incorporate cooling practices to help keep yourself cool, as the temperature rises:
Sitali or cooling breath ~ sitting with a tall spine, close your eyes, stick your tongue out and roll it so it looks like a hot dog bun. Inhaling through your tongue for a count of 3, hold for a count as you close your mouth and exhale out your nose for a count of 3. Start with 10 rounds and grow the practice from there. Allow yourself to be relaxed and the breath to be long and smooth.
Slow Flow ~ Allow your practice to take on a more meditative flow rather than a heat building flow. Slowly moving from one pose to the next, move as if you were moving through water. Allow yourself to feel the water flowing around you, while it keeps the movements really slow and intentional, like a dance.
Floor Practice ~ Allow yourself to have a nice floor practice. What can you do to strengthen and stretch your body without getting up off the floor? You can also allow yourself to embrace a Yin or Restorative practice to keep the cool.
Essential Oils ~ on to my favorite topic. Essential Oils have helped my mood management for years, probably since before I even knew what they were doing. I can use specific oils to help with certain emotions, but I can also use oils to bring out a smell that takes me back to where I long to be. When I go out of town, and visit this gem on earth, I take my oils and diffuser with me so I can use them in my special place, and create that memory of the scent in that location, so when I smell it again, it takes me back. Do you ever smell a shampoo you haven't used since high school and as soon as you catch a whiff, you are transported back to a different time and place? You can train yourself this way with essential oils too.
You can also just diffuse blends to smell like the places you'd like. Here are some diffuser blends by doTERRA to help find your summer Bliss:
Summer Wind: 1 drop Spearmint, 1 drop Bergamot, 3 drops Tangerine
Citrus Summer Remix: 3 drops Lime, 1 drop doTERRA Passion blend, 2 drops Bergamot
California Coast: 2 drops Frankincense, 2 drops Cedarwood, 1 drop Rosemary, 2 drops Wild Orange
Summer in the Alps: 2 drops Lemon, 2 drops Peppermint, 1 drop Ylang Ylang
Stress Less: 1 drop Vetiver, 1 drop Lavender, 2 drops doTERRA Balance blend
Ocean Waves: 3 drops Lavender, 3 drops Lime, 1 drop Spearmint
Picnic in the Mountains: 1 drop White Fir, 4 drops doTERRA Balance blend, 2 drops Eucalyptus, 3 drops Douglas Fir
Relax and Uplift: 3 drops Patchouli, 3 drops Bergamot
I invite you to allow yourself to sit in meditation or to just sit and think about what you can do to create your own little sanctuary in your home to help you find your Summer Bliss, no matter where you may be spending your summer.