Summer is a time when rhythms slow down.
Whether we're busy or not, the dilatant heat, the lingering light, and the hypnotizing song of the cicadas calls for an unhurried gait that allows for contemplation.
The nature of the season urges us to Take a Pause.
We are summoned to put down the phone for a moment and really look at the bird nimbly carrying a piece of straw to its nest. We are invited to listen to the sound of cars whirring, doves cooing, and our stomachs rumbling. We are lured to consider the light in a dear one's eyes, and how this breath that moves within us, moves within them too.
Yet sometimes, even while inhabiting sultry surroundings, our minds can be hurried. Thoughts of autumnal planning and busier times ahead keep us from relishing the moment. Worry may set in, and a feeling that something is just not right can linger in the pit of the stomach. Future and planning mind usurp the moment, and the unhurried cadences of the season all but disappear from our perception.
This is the perfect time to engage in summer pausing. Noticing thoughts of fall busyness, we pause, drop into the moment, and follow our breath.
Let's do this now.
This moment, I invite you to take a full, deep breath in, and follow this breath until you find a pause, the pause at the end of the in-breath and before the out-breath.
As you exhale, hold the intention to be present for the whole out-breath, from beginning to end.
Again, notice the pause at the end of the out-breath.
Take another breath in this same manner, following the full in-breath. Pause for another spacious moment.
Now, staying with the full out-breath as it moves through the body. Pause again.
Now one more.
Feeling the breath....knowing you are breathing in. Pause.
Sensing the movement...aware you are breathing out. Pause.
Notice how you feel right now.
Dropping into the breath, we find that rest and balance are available right in this very moment. Our bodies are vehicles for peace and well-being as we drop out of thought and our stories and into watching the shifting, moving breath.
This summer I invite you to breathe three breaths in just this manner whenever you feel a hurried, anxious mind jumping ahead to the fall.
If you catch a forward-thinking thought that causes stress and anxiety, take a pause, and follow three cycles of in-breaths, out-breaths, and pauses, then return to what you were doing. Taking three mindful breaths will break the anxious thought cycle, help you step out of the story, and allow for a moment of ease.
This is an easy mindfulness practice that doesn't take much time. You will be synching to the natural rhythm of summer and exploring the happiness available when you rest in present moment awareness.
Be Still...Be Happy,