Personal Development: Sarbani Sen offers 5 tips for a peaceful summer and for making more of your life.
Peaceful Summer Tip #1: Follow the Joy. Whatever you do this summer, let your inner joy be the GPS of your days. How to identify what energy you’re in? Well, usually when it’s joy, you will feel something like bubbles in the abdomen, a sensation of lightness – you could even feel there’s light in your body and in your face. Sometimes people feel expansion in the chest, like an enlargement of our breathing capacity. This is called a ‘heart chakra expansion’.
Shoulders will go back naturally and you will breathe deeper, with more serenity. You can also activate this sensation by actually doing these movements, sitting up
straight or laying down, breathing deep and pulling your shoulders back, connecting your shoulder blades. Feel the sensation of joy filling your body and soul.
And when in doubt on what to do, don’t do anything. Stick to what your heart and body dictate. If it’s nothing, then do nothing. Don’t compare and slide into the social media ‘Instagramable’ victimization syndrome. Let others do and show what they want – this is about you. Don’t feel miserable if nothing big or worth sharing is coming up for you. Let the universe provide exactly what you need, and sometimes it takes time. Be confident, trust the process. In the meantime, do something that really makes you feel good. Read a book, play with watercolours, take care of your plants, buy a new plant or anything that comes up. Don’t judge what’s there for you. Just be and do what feels good.
Peaceful Summer Tip #2: Get some alone time. If your summer is packed with loads of fun moments in groups, travelling to festivals, meeting people, family or friends, taking care of and nurturing the kids, make sure to make some space to be alone. Spending time alone, allows us to regenerate, to reconnect with our inner source, to unleash our creativity and gets us back on our mission path. Being with people all the time is draining our energetic fields – it can weigh on us and reduce our light. We need to be very careful how and with whom we spend our time. Let’s be more conscious and cautious about our actions, thoughts or deeds.
Alone time is perfect for reading some books on spirituality or self-help. It will reduce our stress, help us find out about a new technique to release tension even more and get to the zero point of needs and fears. Just be. Being consistent with having alone time will frequently enable you to feel more confident and less dependent on others. You may increase your comfortableness in your own skin, making it easier for you to meet new people and develop long-lasting and healthy relationships.
Find a suitable space to be alone. Decide on suitable ways to keep your sacred time alone, such as locking the doors, barring access, going somewhere where others can’t find you, or leaving your usual spot and going where people don’t know you. Discuss your preference to be alone in given spaces as well. For example, you might tell your family members something like, “On Wednesday and Thursdays from 6:30-7:15 I will be putting up this ‘do not disturb’ sign on my bedroom door. That means that any questions or emergency things will have to wait until 7:15.” You can also leave your home to find some place to be alone, such as a garden, park, local library, small café, or art gallery.
Peaceful Summer Tip #3: Learn something new. The more people practice a new skill they are learning, the denser the myelin in their brains becomes, which helps them learn even better. Your learning speed increases. Learning a new skill helps you learn things faster over time. By stimulating neurons in the brain, more neural pathways are formed and electrical impulses travel faster across them as you attempt to process new information. The more pathways that are formed, the faster impulses can travel.
Perhaps the most important reason of all is that learning something new will make you happier, will boost your self-esteem and give you the pleasure to enjoy some new activity or skill in your life.
Peaceful Summer Tip #4: Make some space for the new. Take some time this summer to clean your house, space and documents. This will bring renewed energy into your life, and make you feel lighter. Organizing, decluttering, throwing away, helps us to make more space to step into ‘the new’.
Thanks to Marie Kondo, and her new Netflix programme, the Japanese tidying guru gives us the promises of not only a decluttered house, but also a clean mind. “When you put your house in order, you put your affairs, and your past in order, too,” Kondo explains in her 2014 book The Life- Changing Magic of Tidying. As a result, you can see quite clearly what you need and what you don’t, and what you should and shouldn’t do. But is it really as simple as asking whether everything you own truly “sparks joy” and then throwing away anything that doesn’t?
Most tidying methods advocate a room-by-room or little-by-little approach,
condemning you to pick away at your piles of stuff forever. The KonMari MethodTM
encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, komono (miscellaneous items), and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Thank them for their service – and then let them go. People around the world have been drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective and forward- looking.
Peaceful Summer Tip #5: Find your Ikigai. Why not go a step deeper and refresh the meaning of purpose in your life? An ikigai is essentially a reason to get up in the morning: a reason to enjoy life. According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai. Your ikigai lies at the centre of four interconnecting circles: that which you love, that which you can be paid for, that which the world needs, that which you are good at. According to this Japanese model, the intersections of these circles, will point out your vocation, mission, passion and profession. If you are lacking in one area, you are missing out on your life’s potential. Not only that, but you are missing out on your chance to live a long and happy life.
You can ask yourself these few questions to start with: are you doing something that you love; that the world needs; that you are good at; and that you can be paid for? How can you live with purpose today, to live a longer and healthier life? There is lots of ikigai help online, find your own. It is a long process, start writing a bit today, and see how it evolves as the days go by. If you set your intention to have your ikigai during your holidays, don’t try doing it in a day. It takes maturity, insight, reflection, even some communication with other people, to get some clarity on aspects of your personality, on the potential jobs and hobbies that could come out. You will feel a sense of purpose and will have more energy available for whatever you are doing, because you are aligned with your inner self.