By Jennifer Kelleher
Happy summer solstice, and congratulations to all of the students and teachers who are wrapping up another school year. I invite you all, as we transition into this new three-month cycle, to get clear on your intentions and priorities for the season ahead. From where we stand now, summer may feel like it will stretch on forever. But we all know that time breezes by. Having goals and creating a routine that supports you in achieving those goals helps to optimize time and ensure that your expectations for yourself and your season are met. In today’s column, I will suggest some ideas to help keep you present and on track throughout the summer months.
First, no matter if your schedule is full or sparse, create a routine for yourself. Freedom, peace, creativity, and ease are found within boundaries. A study that demonstrates this was performed by a team of landscape architects who wanted to observe the influences of having a fence around a playground, specifically how it impacts children’s behavior. Researchers found that on the playground without fences, the children tended to stay very close to their teacher and were reluctant to stray from her view.
Contrarily, on the fenced-in playground, the children felt safe and free to run, play, and explore the playground in its entirety. The study concluded that with a boundary, children feel more at ease to explore. This is true not only for children, but for humans of all ages.
The structure that you create for yourself will of course be specific to you and your goals. No matter what, intentional morning and evening routines are great bookends for success. This could look like starting your day with prayer and meditation, hydrating your body with clean water, taking your vitamins, exercising, and getting out in nature. At night, perhaps a salt bath, scanning through your day and surveying what went well and where you may have overreacted (to build greater awareness for your future), watching the sunset, making some tea, and journaling.
Additionally, the afternoon tends to be a time when we become depleted. Give yourself a 15-minute pause in the late afternoon to meditate, or to sit and breathe, slowly and fully, in nature.
Another piece of success is giving back. What are some ways that you can be of service to others in the community this summer? Denzel Washington’s quote is always a beautiful reminder that, “at the end of the day it’s not about what you have or even what you’ve accomplished… it’s about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.”
Finally, for this last piece I invite you to recognize something in your life that feels really hard. Maybe it is something that feels out of your control, or something that you have been trying to solve, but can’t quite figure out. It is important to note that even the most capable people on earth have their struggles, and there comes a point in each of our lives when we have to acknowledge that struggle exists. I find two things helpful in these situations: prayer and community. Letting go of the ego and admitting that there is a problem is brave and strong. This summer, control what you can and pray for what you cannot. Any time your difficulty arises, send it up through prayer and trust that you are taken care of.
Come practice yoga all summer long in our cool, spacious, light-flooded space. Explore our schedule at oceanblissyoga.net to discover daily classes, workshops, and events. Call or text me (Jen) at 917-318-1168 with any questions. New members welcome. Located on the third floor of the Belle Harbor Yacht Club. Parking available in the lot downstairs.