On the longest day of the year, I woke up to gray clouds and the wonderful smell of rain. I am currently visiting family in my hometown of Anchorage, Alaska. I am enjoying the 19 hours of daylight…yes I did say 19 hours! Growing up in Anchorage allowed me to enjoy the beauty of mother nature, especially the few weeks around the time of the summer solstice. As a kid and into my adult life, the extended daylight encouraged endless hours of outdoor play with family and friends.
Today I tried a different approach to my mindfulness breathing meditation. Normally I focus on my belly in relation to my breathing. Today I practiced the following mantra during my breathing meditation:BREATHE IN: Sun and Warmth
BREATHE OUT: Light
I did this for about twenty minutes and was really able to feel the warmth while seeing the sun and light. It was interesting to observe these emotions and to have a slightly different meditation experience. As I continue to enrich my day to day life with mindfulness, my practices and self-awareness continue to evolve and impact my life with positivity.
For the past ten years I have called Reno, Nevada home. Reno has over 300 days of sunshine, which is a big contrast from Anchorage. I am convinced that the sun can affect your moods and boost your happiness. However, I also think that you can change your perceptions of gloomier weather. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects, focus on the beauty and benefits of our surroundings. It is important to get outside, enjoy the natural light and outside atmosphere, no matter what city you live in.
Looking through my social media platforms this week, there were many solstice events and publicity, including “A Day of Mindfulness.” As I read through my Twitter and Facebook feeds, I found the following quote that I found perfectly fitting for the longest day of the year:
“We are the miracle of force and matter making itself over into imagination and will. Incredible. The life force experimenting with forms. You for one. Me for another. The universe has shouted itself alive. We are one of the shouts.” – Ray Bradbury
What do you do with your extra hours of light during this time of year?