Last weekend I was at a wedding in Sequoia National Park. It was full of music and colour and animal masks. The giggling groom in his purple suit and lavender mohawk set the merry tone. After the last child arrived on a fiberglass unicorn and the bride settled in next to her mate in a gorgeous white gown with a multi-coloured train, the officiant invited all of us to take a moment to become present. To ourselves and our surroundings.
I immediately felt what I was sitting on. As I did, my body relaxed into itself, fully supported by the bench beneath me, the friends around me, and the trees surrounding us all. The moment I became aware of my body, I heard the birdsong enveloping us. A symphony had been playing all around me, but I’d not noticed until I stopped to become aware of myself. Now I could hear sounds within the sounds, rich and layered and soft at the same time.
I felt the evening air on my face and my silk shawl caressing my shoulders. My ribs moved out in every direction with my breath as I expanded through the quiet inside me.
It all took a minute. Maybe two. But everything changed in that short time. It’s an over-used and somewhat corny expression, but “time stood still”.
Before that shift in time, I’d been excited and happy and wondering what would come next, but I’d not been truly present to all that was happening around me and within me. By taking a moment to become aware, I slowed everything down. There was a shift from my experience before that moment and everything that came after.
We’re all so busy, connected, and distracted much of the time that it can feel like life is speeding by. The easiest way to slow down time and make more of it, is to simply become present. Any time.
Summer is a great time to do it.
If you want to make summer last longer this year, take a moment every day to become present.
- Step outside in the morning and feel the sun on your face.
- Walk barefoot on the grass and let it caress your toes.
- Listen to the sounds of birds singing, kids laughing or squirrels fighting.
- Look at your food before you eat it and give thanks to everyone and everything involved.
- Notice the changing position of the sunset each day. Watch it until it drops away.
- Taste that bite of peach like you’ve never tasted it before.
- Hug someone and feel your body breathe.
- Savour a kiss as if it’s a summer night and you have nowhere else to be.
Enjoy a moment everyday and summer will linger in your soul.
I’d love to hear how you slow time down and make summer last.