Author Judy Blume stated in a recent interview, “You can live a whole lifetime in one summer.” What a great quote. Summer is a season that makes you come alive like no other. Perhaps it’s the long hot, sunny days and the feeling of being a little more carefree that seem to brighten everyone’s mood. Summer makes you more optimistic and motivated, and you tend to take more risks. It’s as if your solar plexus chakra is truly on fire, giving you the courage and strength to do the impossible.
Meditation can be used to further open yourself up to greater possibilities. However, it can feel difficult to find the time to practice your meditation when the summer is filled with countless fun activities. With a little planning and boundary-setting, you can incorporate meditation into your summer fun and watch your manifestation of desires explode.
Meditate at the Beach
At times, a beach vacation, especially with children, can be anything but relaxing. The noise, close sleeping quarters, varying interests among vacationers, and the occasional sunburn or bug bites can pull you away from tranquility. Yet, there are ways you can sneak in time alone to meditate, so you can appreciate your beach vacation even more.
Schedule time during your vacation to meditate alone on the beach, perhaps in the afternoon while everyone is resting. Walk away from your accommodation and find a more secluded spot. Plant yourself away from the edge of the water line and meditate for thirty minutes or more.
Take in the sounds and sensations, hear the waves crashing in front of you, the seagulls squawking overhead, the crickets chirping behind you, and the sound of children playing nearby. Smell the fresh ocean air, the smoke of a barbecue, and the faint scent of suntan lotion. Then, feel the sand beneath you, and the gentle ocean breeze caressing your skin. You’ll not only fee relaxed, you’ll be able to be more present with your loved ones when you return.
Another great time for beach meditation is getting up early for a sunrise meditation, a magical option for the east coast. Or, if you vacation on the west coast, try doing a sunset meditation.
You can also practice a walking meditation. If you have your Primordial Sound Meditation mantra, you can repeat your mantra while walking and allow it to come into rhythm with your steps. Or, try a positive affirmation meditation on your beach walk. First, write down about twenty to thirty affirmations and then record them as a voice memo on your phone. You can go the extra step and record yourself saying them with inspirational music in the background. A couple examples of positive affirmations are, “I am healthy. I am strong.” Or “I have perfect health and extraordinary energy.” Repeat these affirmations several times each into your recording so you have a twenty- to thirty-minute walking meditation track.
Meditate at an Amusement Park
It’s true. You can find meditation time in an amusement park. If you’re a naturally introverted person, sometimes spending too much constant time with family can be exhausting, and the overstimulation of the park can be overwhelming.
Set expectations with your family that you will take a “time out” to take some time for meditation. Believe it or not, you can find areas of seclusion if you need them or if you’re comfortable with noise, all you need is a shady bench somewhere. Look for areas behind bathrooms or near the first aid—they tend to be lightly populated. The more you meditate, the more you’re able to tolerate noise while meditating. It just becomes background noise.
Meditate at a Family Picnic
If you’ve grown up in the U.S., you will understand the family picnic. Everyone brings a super unhealthy dish, usually consisting of some sort of fruit-filled Jello, potato salad, potato chips, white buns, hot dogs, hamburgers, brownies, cookies, soda pop, and beer. This unending buffet of eating and drinking, sugar highs and lows, and family gossip is why many dread such an affair.
Meditation can teach you to be the observer without having to totally participate in all the unhealthy activities. Many people eat out of nervousness. You don’t really want to consume all of the junk food available, but high tension and the possibility of seeing the uncle you don’t want to see can make you lose yourself at the buffet table.
Here’s a tip: meditate before you go to the family picnic. Set your intentions on how you would like things to go and create a plan for remaining Zen even if things get tense. Visualize what food you’re willing to eat and who you’re willing to talk to. Have a meditative exit plan if you’re losing your focus on what you want out of your family picnic experience. For example, your exit could be doing something fun with the kids at the party. Your meditation might be drawing pictures with the two-year-old or doing a min yoga class for the eight-year-olds. Make a pact with yourself that you don’t have to hang with the adults if the kids are better behaved. And if Aunt Bertha asks you why you won’t eat her egg salad, you can tell her you’re on a meditative cleanse. That will either get her to stop talking or get her curious about meditation.
The personal growth you experience when you infuse meditation into your fun summer activities is unparalleled to anything you’ve previously experienced. With greater awareness, you’re able to remember your summer events in greater detail. With a calmer body and mind, you’re not only more pleasant to be around, but also more compassionate toward others.
Meditation gives you an excuse to be selfish, in a good way. It gives you greater freedom to be you. Finally, you’ll notice that your wishes for wonderful times in summer will come true as you manifest what you desire through your practice of meditation.
Meditate anytime, anywhere this summer with Desire and Destiny, Oprah and Deepak’s free online meditation program starting July 17! Register for free.