The July page of the calendar gets torn off this week…August, ah. Perhaps my favorite month of the year. Why, because for many years it meant a trip to a sacred place where our family rested, restored, recovered and prepared for the rest of the year.
For many people and families, going to a familiar place in the summer is something soothing and restorative. But often life changes. I won’t be going to that place this year. I won’t be going anywhere this August.
It’s okay. I had a great family vacation in July and have some exciting plans for some other travel in September that I am looking forward to. But I’ve been thinking about how to cultivate that time of recovery, relaxation and feeling of being at ease, right where I am.
I’ve been thinking about what are the qualities of that place and time that made it so special and restorative for me. Here are the top five qualities of what will make August restorative for me.
1. No alarm clock. This means sleeping until my body wakes up as many days as possible. I’m giving myself permission to not schedule any early am meetings, to not get up at my usual 5am alarm and to be completely committed to practicing the art of napping. (It is a lost art!!) This sleep reset is critical to building the energy needed in September.
2. Yoga every single day. I have a beloved teacher in Cape Cod and for several years I went to her class every day I was in Cape Cod. Sometimes my daily yoga practice dwindles down to a few stretches to cool down after some cardio and weightlifting at the gym.
In August I give over my workout routine to a REAL yoga practice. And I fall in love with yoga all over again. My July travels to the West Coast had my body off kilter a bit so I began a 30 Day Yoga Camp with my favorite teacher Adriene so that practice is well under way already. (Join me in this…it’s on our Prasada facebook page. )
3. Being outside as much as possible. I absolutely love the warm weather. I’m like a squirrel but instead of collecting acorns for winter, I’m collecting heat and light.
4. Eating oysters…lots and lots of oysters. Nothing brings me back to my Louisiana childhood like eating fresh, raw oysters. Yummy for my tummy and fond memories of my grandfather shucking them and making that ketchup, tabasco cocktail sauce and loading them up on a saltine. I prefer them now sans cracker with a vinegar mignonette but it’s all the same feeling of goodness.
5. No plans days. This means absolutely nothing on the calendar. not. one. thing. My children have taught me this beautiful practice, though it took me many years to embrace it. The day can unfold with ease. Many times the most exquisite things happen. It’s all the better if you can make it through the entire day in your pajamas.
What are the qualities that could make your August a rich time of ease and restoration? I invite you to write these down, ask your family and friends what theirs are, and share them with me.
We’re all here together, let’s make it a beautiful journey.
Be well…it’s a state of mind.