Officially the first month of summer, June sees us rolling towards more daylight and warmth, and subsequently more time outdoors, a reconnection to nature, and a reconciliation with our environment. If you’ve spent the past few months hiding indoors and stuck in your head, for your June intentions try stepping outside more often (in between showers!), and engaging with the world around you.
A long time ago, June and July were collectively named Liða (pronounced lee-thuh), Old English for ‘calm’ or ‘mild’. With longer hours of daylight, more opportunity to linger in the sunset, coupled with perhaps the opportunity to retreat on a much anticipated holiday, it seems these months were indeed made for down time. The thing is, even when you’re away, it can be difficult to take a holiday from your own head, which is why this month, our collective mantra or sankalpa should perhaps be; “I direct my attention towards what matters. I make peace with what I cannot change”.
BE YOUR OWN PERSONAL RAY OF SUNSHINE
Our attention could be thought of as a light – our own personal ray of sunshine – so what we shine it upon tends to grow and flourish the most. Where focus goes, energy flows. Where our thoughts are directed hugely impacts how we feel in every sense. Perhaps pause for one moment and think about the three most prominent things you’ve been focussing on recently. Do they bring meaning to your life? Do they enhance your physical and mental health? Do they contribute to healthy and balanced relationships? If the answer is no, then it might be time to shine your light in a different direction. Your ‘light’ is your energy and your spark – it’s important to look after it.
THE LITTLE THINGS MAKE UP THE BIG THING CALLED LIFE
Author Paul Dolan – who describes happiness as “experiences of pleasure and purpose over time” in his book Happiness By Design –also notes that it’s not the overall ‘snapshot’ of our lives that we should look at when reflecting upon happiness, but the ‘film’ of our everyday moments. The little things make up the big thing called life. Our every moment makes our every day. Every day combines to make a year, every year soon becomes the story of who we are.
LEARNING TO LET GO
As a practical exercise for your June, try writing down three things in your life you absolutely cannot control, and make a pact with yourself not to dwell upon them for more than ten seconds. If you can contribute to changing it in any way, do what you can and then let go of the outcome. As Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita; “Be intent on action, not on the fruits of action”.
TIME TO FOCUS ON OUR OWN DEALINGS
When we realise that the things we have no business with are really none of our business, we find more freedom to focus on our own dealings. When our light is no longer scattered and deflected in all directions, we’re able to really illuminate what matters most. So maybe this month, as the sun in the sky shines a little brighter on all of us, we could practice shining our own light on what really matters and contributes to a happy, calmer and fulfilled life. We could practice focussing not on the snapshot of life, but on the film of those everyday present moments. Where attention goes, energy flows.