Summer is definitely here with all its glorious flowers, abundant sun-ripened fruit, never-ending fiestas, rising temperatures, and lazy dog-days. Dog days are those days that are so hot and humid that even all the dogs seek the shady spots, stretch out and sleep. Dog days are those days that call us to take a tall glass of iced water, find a shady coolish place and try to escape the heat by not doing anything, by just “being”.
This is a great time to set aside the cares of the day and spend an hour or more renewing our spirit, soul, and body. It is amazing the difference that an hour or two or three of peaceful solitude can make in how we look at and respond to life. Everyday distractions combined with relentless routines if not managed properly can drain our energy levels down to the “low bat” level, and even sometimes to the “no bat” (no battery/energy) level.
Some time ago I saw a sign in a shop window that struck me: You are a human being NOT a human doing!
I have found that summer is a good time to set aside these distractions and simplify life, to simply live. As we reduce the complexities of living, we allow our inner spirit to breathe and grow. At the same time, we create a bit of time and space in which to better enjoy our children and their endless activities, to stop for a moment to appreciate the restorative power of the beauty of nature, to be inspired with the wonders that our loving God abundantly spreads around us, and to breathe in and savor the fragrance of the season.
Self-renewal and simplifying one’s life is not about giving up things we love; it is about creating balance between our outer and inner lives. Living fully doesn’t mean having everything, doing everything, being everything to everybody. Living fully is all about enjoying and being grateful for whatever we have, little or much. And in the process of simplifying our space and our journey, we are able to discover and uncover the little things that matter, that had often been buried in the chaos of everyday activities. There are many articles and books written giving tips and techniques on how to create quiet times, on how to simplify one’s life, on what to do to de-stress. For me, it is not so much the “doing” or “not doing” that we should focus on, but rather the “being”, and the peaceful enjoyment of just “being”.
Instead of complaining of the incessant heat that threatens to get hotter every day, the burning sun, and the high humidity, I will find a quiet shady spot maybe under our mango tree or beside a flowering bush, pour myself a refreshing glass of iced tea crowned with a sprig of mint leaf and half a calamansi, take a deep relaxing breath, and revel in just “being”, in recharging my body’s battery and renewing my inner self.
Won’t you join me?