Summer has arrived, and with it, changes in schedules and family dynamics. Children are home from school, vacations are planned, and seasonal activities abound. How can you and your family be mindful, fully present to these opportunities this summer?
- In this season nature abounds and becomes fruitful. Notice the color, fragrance and flavor of freshly picked produce. How does it feel on your tongue? Does the flavor change as you chew? If you enjoy a cool treat, really sense the popsicle or ice cream, and savor it.
- Appreciate the varied color, shapes and textures of the flowers and greenery around you. How many shades of green do you notice? How do those dahlias vary from stem to stem?
- Notice the air around you – is the breeze soft, or is the air still and humid? How does it make you feel, physically and emotionally?
- If you plan a special family outing to a theme park or other recreation area, make a game with the children of noticing everything around you, using all your senses.
- Stay outdoors late in the evening and notice how the light, fragrances, and textures change with dusk.
- Study the clouds – what shapes do you see? Appreciate the variations in color and texture of the clouds.
- Take a technology fast – turn off electronics and be present to what’s going on around you, right in the moment.
- Take the family for an “awareness” nature walk. How do different areas smell? What does the grass feel like when you run barefoot vs. walk slowly? Be still and silent – what do you hear? Look for hidden gems like beautiful stones or tiny flowers – use your sight.
- How do you feel when sitting quietly on a stone vs. walking along a path? What memories are evoked?
However you choose to experience the joys of summer, be sure to stay present in the moment – experience what you’re doing with all of your senses, relaxing and having fun with friends and family.