Monday, August 1, 2011

The Calm of Summer

While I haven’t posted in a couple weeks, I have to blame it on my mind being in different places mixed with alittle procrastination.  I am currently working on my doctoral dissertation.  I am finally in the data collection portion and recently received the data that will be allowing me to focus on writing the results portion.  Anyways, though my school schedule and client load is low, I’ve been trying to figure out how to allow myself to relax and feel rejuvenated to start my internship with a burst of energy in the fall! 
This yearning for energy and relaxation can be something students, parents, teachers, etc. seek as the summer seems to be flying by.  Before it comes to a halt we hope to feel “ready” for yet another academic year (or long winter for those of you in offices and other jobs). 
Each summer my family gets together for a weekend at a cottage on the Muskegon River.  This is typically a weekend filled with nothing but family, fun, and laugher.  Our first day it was about 95 degrees and 7 of us decided to go tubing (lazy river style) down the River.  We rented inflated truck tires that served as our tubes, tied our tires together with twine, and plopped into the middle of our makeshift raft.  We were warned that some of the water was very shallow and to be careful of large, hard to spot rocks.  Both warnings made me think, “Humm, that could hurt!”  However, we trusted we would be able to spot the “Party Crashers” (rocks) and that when the water was shallow we could lift our bums.  Off we floated.  Tied together.  Avoiding Party Crashers. 

As we floated down this beautiful path, there were so many things to take in.  I was so very thankful for the opportunity to be surrounded by loved ones doing something that made it entirely possible to forget about stressors, concerns, and data.  At one point we passed under a bridge, and as we looked up a young man was standing on the edge playing a Sax.  It was beautiful.  Not only was the flow of the water calming, but now we had live music that we could hear long after we passed the bridge.  It was a simple reminder that even when we feel that relaxation is nowhere in our future, past experiences can allow for relaxation.  We can close our eyes, focus on something beautiful that we might not be able to see presently, but that we can imagine or feel based on our past experiences. 
It is important to stay present throughout each moment of your life.   At one point my Aunt asked, “You alright Megan?  You are quiet.”  I’m not known for being super quiet, but really, I was just soaking in the moments.  I wanted to make sure that when I was feeling stressed out and busy again, I would be able to slow life down a bit, remember my relaxed state of mind, and then continue moving forward. 
Take some time to think about a time when you were feeling incredibly relaxed and at peace.   Envision the way it looked.  What colors jumped out?  What could you feel?  What could you hear?  Where there any smells that helped make you feel comforted?  Use your senses to take you back to that place and time when you are feeling tense, stressed, and in need of relaxation.   
We hit a couple Party Crashers throughout the float, however, they caused more laughter than pain and the trip was totally worth it!  I wish you peace, relaxation, and safe travels as we move through these dog days of summer!  

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