(Just need to get this in: I cannot believe that only a few short weeks ago our deck had piles of snow, and this weekend we hit record highs of 100 degrees in May. Slightly excited, slightly terrified about our planet's climate changes...).
Mine is the short sleeve variant that doesn't seem to be on the site, but I love this shirt from Good HYouman. The struggle to find authenticity in oneself is ongoing and highly personal. But to me, there's always an extra element of clarification that happens in the winter. Maybe the short days and long nights lend themselves to introspection. Could be the pitta side of my kapha-pitta constitution. But now that we're into summer, full swing, I'm feeling a little muddled.
And the best way to get out of a funk? For me, it's stepping up my meditation and mindfulness practices.
Summer Mindfulness & Meditation
I'm always feeling a pull away from my computer as the weather gets warmer, the grass and leaves return, and the perennial garden starts blooming. So a big part of my mindfulness practice is focused on keeping me grounded and focused on the tasks at hand.
For me, this is taking the form of noticing *when* those distractions are coming in to play. What is distracting me? What thoughts are floating in front of me before it happens? It's part of that whole developing the witness thing. It's also coupled with some information from The Power of Habit, a great read if you're interested in learning how to change or modify your habits. Figuring out what precedes the effect is key to being able to change behavior.
When I do recognize what the triggers are, I employ my mindfulness tools by running through the Who, What, Where, Why, and How. Is there a person associated with the trigger? What is the trigger? Is it a place? Why is it coming up? How can I manage it? These take me away from the effect, or from being distracted, and into a place of action. Here's how I'm going to do it differently next time.
Contributing Factors to Watch
Keep an Eye on Caffeine
I do a great job of reducing caffeine while I'm drinking hot coffee in the winter, but the lack of decaf cold brew in this world--coupled with my insatiable love for it--means that I tend to take in way more caffeine in the summer than I would otherwise. Not to mention that an icy cold Coke tastes sooo good after mowing the lawn, doesn't it? But as we all know, caffeine is a stimulant, and not great for pacifying a pitta or kapha imbalance.
Like Increases Like
I love the sun. I love laying out in the sun, I love hot yoga, I love heat in general. However, in pure Ayurvedic tradition, like increases like. So all that time in the sun probably isn't doing me any favors with the feelings I described above. Knowing how to temper that desire for the heat and sun with cooling, calming behaviors is key to bringing everything back into balance.
Keep Up with my Yoga Practice (!)
In light of everything else I want to be doing in the summer - grilling! tanning! hiking! - it's easy to lose sight of my practice in the midst of everything. I feel like I should be weeding instead of in the studio. But that's part of what makes developing a home practice mega important. It's pacifying to nearly all the doshas, and most of all, important for my mind to stay balanced and work out those kinks.
And most of all, just be yourself babe. Trust the process.
Practice with Me!
Reminder! Summer outdoor classes are coming up. Bring some mindfulness into your days and meet up with me for free yoga in St. Paul, Minnesota this summer!