One of my touchstones for gauging how fast–or slow–I’m living, is noticing if I have a vase of fresh herbs and flowers on my desk. When I’m living the life I desire, I create the time to meander in my garden and pick colorful, fragrant flowers and plants to enjoy in my office.
What’s your touchstone that lets you know you’re moving at a speed that feels just right for you? A signal that tells you you’re living joyfully and in alignment with what matters most?
For the last 16 years I’ve been self-employed. And it took me more than half of that time to figure out that I get to choose the speed at which I live, work and play.
When I finally “got this,” I realized … summer is an especially sacred time for me. It’s a time when I crave–and need–to slow way down. To embrace expanses of unscheduled time, to enjoy spontaneity, adventure, more time in nature and less time online. As delicious to me as homemade peach ice cream–I lap up spaciousness and big open creative windows where I get to sit with ideas, meditate on my life purpose and personal hopes and visions, integrate all I’ve learned from the past six months, explore new ways of being and reconnect with soulful friends for long hikes and late night swims in spring-fed waters. Summer is when I re-calibrate and am reminded of who I am and what I love.
So often I’m moving too fast and without realizing it, I let external activities dictate my internal speed–rather than the other way around.
This past January I turned 50 and this Friday my sweet son will wrap-up 8th grade. Lately I’m noticing my relationship to time is shifting. I perceive and experience it very differently than I did years ago. I realize that being in this body and getting to choose how, when and where I direct my energy and gifts is a precious gift. And if I move too fast and don’t take time to gestate and savor the “pearls” from my life, I’ll not only exhaust myself, I’ll miss out on the beauty of the lightning bugs because I was spending too much time rummaging through my cabinets looking for the right jar to put them in.
Here are three ways to slow down and live more intentionally this summer:
1. Set an intention or theme for summer 2016 so you don’t wake up on Labor Day lamenting lost time. Read Setting a Summer Intention.
2. Consciously plan to create breathing room in your schedule between now and the end of August. Read Slower is Better.
3. Do it different and rewire your brain! Here’s why and how it’s important to break up your routine (summer is the perfect time to do this!) Read Do it Different This Summer.
JOIN ME FOR A JUICY, RESTFUL RETREAT: I find retreats to be so beneficial as they offer a chance to soak in deep “to the bones” renewal and replenishment and pull back and get a 30,000 foot perspective (read 5 Reasons I Take Retreats). I’ll be facilitating a soulful, nurturing self-renewal retreat for women at Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health (the largest retreat center in North America and my favorite!) July 15-17 and again Oct. 28-30. Join me for New Way of Being: Women’s Self-Renewal Retreat: learn more. P.S. Lodging at Kripalu fills quickly and sells out months in advance-book now!
Subscribe here to Live Inside Out, a weekly blog written by life balance coach/speaker, author and Career Strategists president, Renée Peterson Trudeau. Renee’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Spirituality & Health and more. Thousands of women in ten countries are becoming RTA-Certified Facilitators and leading/joining self-renewal group based on her award-winning curriculum. She leads workshops/retreats around the globe and is the author of several best-selling life balance titles including The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal and Nurturing the Soul of Your Family: 10 Ways to Reconnect and Find Peace in Everyday Life. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and 14 year-old son. More on her background here.