The Dog Days of Summer: The Slow Down
Dog Days: the sultry part of the summer, occurs during the period that Sirius,
the Dog Star, rises at the same time as the sun. a period marked by lethargy,
inactivity, or indolence.
These fleeting days of late summer are quite magical. It feels like a slowing down, like an exhale, it can hold the slight sadness that farwells sometimes have.
Early and mid-summer are so full of movement and action that you don't have time to tap into the inner you. The natural slowdown during the dog days instinctively whispers that it's time to tune back inward, slow down movement, and kind of drift through the rest of the summer on a soft and melodic tune.
This time of year calls for an inner harvest of sorts. Back from vacation, you sit in your backyard and think about your year thus far. You were and are the architect to this garden of life. You had a design in mind, you planted the seeds according to these blueprints. You nurtured and nourished and watched your garden grow and flourish. It became glorious and abundant! And now as the seasons start to turn you are enjoying the fruits of your labor so to say…slowing down and taking a good look at the work you've put in. Relishing in the movement and growth you've experienced. Take stock of this growth you've made, enjoy your successes and learn from your mistakes.
As you start to become idle, a good kind of exhaustion comes over you and you wonder – where do I go from here? In this transitional time of year, we can sometimes get the “blues” as all of our summertime fun comes to a close and we realize that real life is coming fast and furious right at us.
Tap the brakes a little and transition out of summer nice and slow.
Try to make space in your life.
Ah, yes the all-important relaxation. Sometimes people get caught up in the “what, when, how” of relaxation when it could be as simple as taking a walk or sitting for five minutes and breathing. Or maybe it is your scheduled massage or your restorative yoga every week…whatever it is that brings you to that point of letting your shoulders drop from your ears or and your jaw become unclenched…do that.
You've’ve been on overdrive for a few months now, time to catch up on your shut eye. This is normal, summer is a time of activity, but with much activity comes fatigue. It’s important to re-establish your equilibrium, your balance, by starting to go to bed at least a few minutes earlier day by day as we head into the cooler seasons.
This is important for your children as well, back to school time is right around the corner and it’s important to get back into your routine slowly and smoothly.
Savor the extra time you've gotten to spend with your loved ones. The summertime tends to make us more social, we're outdoors more, attending BBQ’s, pool parties, going on vacation. Be present in these moments with your friends and family. Before you know it will be cold, we'll be in hibernation mode and we'll pass up social activities to wrap ourselves up with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa.
As I said earlier, now is the time to relish in the movement and growth you've made.
Reflection is an import part of life. It makes room for gratitude and joy. Think on the memories you have created this summer, cherish the new relationships you've built and feel good about the things you chose to let go of.
Try Kundalini Yoga, called by practitioners "the yoga of awareness", it aims "to cultivate the creative spiritual potential of a human to uphold values, speak truth, and focus on the compassion and consciousness needed to serve and heal others." It uses very mindful movements to build physical vitality and increase consciousness. There is also Tai Chi, an ancient Chinese tradition that, today, is practiced as a mindful and graceful form of exercise. It involves a series of movements performed in a slow, focused manner and accompanied by deep breathing.
Before the air starts turning cool and the leaves begin their slow death, take a few more adventures, read one more summer novel, wake up early and rise with the sun, alternatively stay up late and enjoy those beautiful late summer sunsets, lay in the grass and take in the beauty of the stars in the sky, breathe it all in…