How do you experience the season? Is it fabulous and fun? The energy of summer is so….VIBRANT and alive – sunshine, , flowers and greenery everywhere,… gardening, grilling, fresh summer produce and picnics, recreation and road trips – all sounds pretty good, right? Minus the bugs, blazing heat and stifling humidity perhaps? Can you see the beauty, the growth, the sense of higher energy and take pleasure in the season – or is it a nasty, buggy, sweaty, blistering , pain in the rear end or is it both?
It is all in how you look at it, right?
In order to explore our perceptions, how we do actually look at our world, we first we have to bring our experiences actively in to consciousness. By paying attention this way to the pleasant and what we experience as unpleasant we can glean where we are reacting unconsciously, out of habit or may be stuck in old stories. By slightly shifting our perception, becoming more aware and open to what is here – including less than skillful thoughts and attitudes we are more likely to shift conditioned ideas/ habituated points of view and may have a slightly or even wholly different experience.
Whether it is summer , fall , winter or spring, it isn’t often that we let ourselves fully experience what is around us. Many times we are blind to our surroundings – mindless as we go through our “daze” on autopilot, driven by the endless narrative of mind’s mental chatter. So, in this vein, here are some tips to bringing awareness to your experience of the season.
Try taking in the out of doors with a beginner’s mind and notice the seasonally relevant aspects of the day. Through “fresh eyes”, we can look out into our world as if it is all a brand new experience. See what happens in your body/mind…feel the air, see the sky, hear the sounds. Do you have judgments about, likes or dislikes, about what is happening now?
Can you notice and appreciate that the mornings are cool, the days are longer, and gardens are thriving? Can you appreciate that you have sun protection, bug repellent, you get to wear shorts and t-shirts instead of being all bundled up? Some of these are truly the everyday mundane things we may never have considered before and have taken for granted. However, when you bring mindfulness to your experience you can begin to find the pleasant or even what might be extraordinary right there in the every day ordinary.
Attend to your experience of the weather – morning dew, blowing breezes or muggy heat, and the sunlight or cloudiness in the moment. What are the actual sensations? What happens in your mind and in your body as you allow yourself to take in the conditions of the moment this way? Do you hold on to or reject what is happening around you? Notice reactions and practice letting go of what doesn’t serve you. Try checking in with your body and seeing if, anywhere, you might be able to release a bit – around whatever it is. Take it all in – enhance your experience of summer, practice bringing mindfulness to the moments of the season as best you can!