Summer Solstice Journaling Meditation – Questions to help you enter this season with clarity & intention
Summer officially begins today!
And with summer beginning, I realized the subtle and not–so-subtle expectations I have of myself to get EVERYTHING done that I don’t have time for during the months of Sept – June!
There is painting repair on the deck steps and door frames in the house, there is gardening, file organization, studio clean-up, horrifying closets and a garage to clean. Where do I begin?
There are friends to see, possible trips to make, conferences to attend…how to choose?
And underneath all those ‘activities’ is the creative expression of song-writing, the book-writing, the art that is calling me.
And then, as I really pay attention, underneath even the creative expressions is the call of deep stillness, of rest, of ‘being’.
And so yesterday I went to the Benedictine Monastery that is close to me here in Mission. And I sat on the grass and stared at the sky.
I realized I don’t want to face this summer without intention. I don’t want to face my summer with the ‘overwhelm’ of all that I could spend my time on. I don’t want to be lured by distractions of ‘shoulds and oughts’. Rather, I realized, this was the moment to pay attention, to listen, and to focus on what Life was actually inviting me to.
And then these questions formed which I am taking time with for my own reflection & pondering. I wondered if they might be helpful for some of you as well, so here they are.
Questions as you enter the summer of 2015
- What is Life/Love asking of me this summer? This question immediately shifts my energy! Life keeps inviting me into fullness and joy. When I truly listen and understand what the deepest intention is for an event or a season, it helps me make clear decisions about everything else. This is definitely the first question that must be acknowledged before all the others. If you’ve never asked yourself a question like this before, simply find a place that is really quiet. Allow yourself to enter stillness and to let your heart rate slow down from all the action! Then, turn within and ask this question. The mystics understood that the Infinite/Love/God dwells within each of us. So, turning within opens a possibility of not only listening to your own desires and heart longings, but to the very Presence of the Infinite that is within you!
- What is the main focus of my attention and energy for this summer? This is a similar question – but can help bring more specifics and concrete ideas. The first question is more a question of ‘being’, of ‘essence’. This question can delve into the specifics…the big pieces into what/who is really important for your time and energy.
- What are distractions for me to be aware of this summer? This is a powerful thing for me to name and bring awareness too. If Life is inviting me to spend time in stillness each day and write, then being aware of what distracts me from that can give me greater resolve to protect my schedule, etc. Other distractions can be my need to please others, over-scheduling, getting caught up in activities or conversations that are draining. Being aware of my tendencies to get distracted helps me be more intentional and focused.
- What is in gestation at this time and how might I nourish that within?
I believe we are all creative beings. We just express our creative gifts differently. I see creative projects like pregnancies. One sculpture artist friend mentioned in a conversation that he has seen a lot of ‘stillborn art’. Many of us do not hold the tension of the creative baby that is within us…we starve it, we abort it, we neglect it. It is not always comfortable to be pregnant. But if we can carry that new life and hold the awkwardness and tension that it sometimes brings, the creative energy will grow and develop and one day be born. This will be a moment of wonder in our lives because we have carried this baby for the full-term. These summer months are wonderful opportunities to take time to nourish the creative within.
- What are my energy levels and how might I notice what I need? This is always a real wake up call for me. My mind can hold all these visions of what I might accomplish. But when I breathe and listen to the energy levels of my body, I become aware of a different rhythm. I become aware of fatigue, of a need for a slower pace, of sore muscles that need tension eased out of them. My body helps me to know what I truly need to be replenished and nourished. Most of us feel a need for a constant sense of accomplishment. However, nature teaches us another way. There is not an eternal springtime in the woods. There are the seasons of prolific accomplishment and flowering. And then there are the seasons of withdrawal and stillness. Many of us feel shame or frustration with ourselves when we slow down or need to stop. However, this is vital to our next accomplishment. Action and contemplation go hand in hand. It is a cycle and when we can embrace both, we no longer become surprised when the day comes to stop and to ‘be’. It is LIFE and we can embrace the fullness of the cycle without shame.
- What brings me joy? Rest? Nurture? Well-being? I find this question helpful to become clear on what actually is life-giving for me. We are all so different and to try to fit into your box of what is life-giving for you and make that life-giving for me only creates fatigue and frustration. Listening to what brings me life and putting those things in the calendar before other obligations enter in is vital.
I would love to hear from you if you have found these questions helpful to you for the summer of 2015!