Summer vacation is over + even though I have already completed my first week back at work, I have one last summer post to share. It is, perhaps, the most important for me because, as I write this, I am processing + reflecting + planning for how I can reimagine the rest of 2020.
This year has been ridiculous, as I’ve said time + time again. Between a pandemic, racial injustice, protests, travel bans, unemployment due to the pandemic, baby plans, working from home, quarantine, a new car, the death of a loved one, missing my family, and restrictions/rules/ways of living changing from day to day… the only thing that I feel that is really certain is that nothing is certain. All is unknown. We have no idea what tomorrow brings.
Of course, that is how life has always been. It’s just that we’ve perhaps all been living with some false sense of control and 2020 has turned everything upside down and reminded us that… no, all we really have is today. And all we really can do is decide what kind of person we want to be from day to day.
So, for my summer vacation this year, I wanted a pause. A break. A breather. I am aware of the insane privilege that I have here in Sweden to have 4 weeks of paid vacation in the summer, so I wanted to use it for good. To not only just have a break, but to mindfully slow down, pay attention, listen, and prepare for the rest of the year. So that I could find a sense of calm in the midst of the chaos of this year…. not only for my own sanity, but mostly, so that I can be a better me. So that I can reimagine ways that I can make whatever kind of difference I can in this crazy year.
And, well, my vacation was exactly what I needed… a slow, simple summer with the perfect balance of rest + adventure. Now, after using my four weeks off to rest, restore, and reset my soul, it’s time to really wrap up those summer vibes and reimagine how I want to live + show up for the rest of this year.
But, first. What is it that 2020 has taught me so far? What have I experienced? How do I want to live? What lessons am I ready to harvest now that it is the end of summer?
- i watched the seasons change in my backyard since i was home for so many months and understand more about how living in rhythm with nature brings a deep sense of calm + balance.
- we are always in flux. change is life. we are also nature. all of life is a cycle of life, death, rebirth. again + again.
- it’s not about cramming in time for meditation during the day, it’s about living a meditative life.
- i thrive at home. writing, taking photos, contemplating. working from home was a gift to me.
- listening to the whispers of the soul is always the right guidance. if i need rest, i rest. if i feel inspired, i create. if my body calls me outside, i go.
- dream about tomorrow. live for today. set goals + intentions… but focus on what’s here + now. it will all unfold naturally as time passes.
- you do not have to be better. just be you. who we are right now is enough. you do not have to use quarantine to write a book, learn a new language, start a business. that said… staying present + meditating leads us forward. we will evolve simply be being who we are from day to day. and looking back we will see the transformation. so, accept where you are, who you are, and stay present.
- living a slow life means being present, creating calm, finding gratitude, keeping it simple, trusting the process. knowing that there is meaning. and this, more than anything else, is how i want to live.
- the essence of who we are is cosmic, divine, stardust living a very real life right here in the middle of messy, everyday earth. and that means we are full of wisdom + purpose. connected as one, yet individually called to offer our own medicine to heal the world + work for justice and peace.
- breathe. wait. breathe. literally. that’s it.
Now, with all of those thoughts, how do I reimagine my life as I go forward in 2020? How do I want to live? 2020 has presented challenges, pain, tough moments, anger, disappointments (both personally + globally) so far. But, this year has also produced lessons + inspiring moments that can help me move forward in a whole new way. Potential is always present in the darkest moments + the deepest pain. Order always comes after chaos. And life always returns after death.
Of course, just because summer is over, it does not mean that the tough times are over. I already see challenges that lie ahead. Lina + I still have so many uncertainties in our life. The United States (and the world) still waits with fear + anxiety on how the presidential election in November will turn out. Covid-19 still rages on and no one knows how or when the autumn and winter seasons will be. People are returning to work + schools… how will that go? My work has moved to a new location + my role has changed somewhat. How will that turn out? Lina waits for answers + plans. And we both are just putting ourselves out there… wondering if we will be pregnant sooner than later?
The thing is… we just don’t know. We have no idea. And it doesn’t feel amazing to feel so insecure + uncertain.
But, this is where my intention to reimagine the rest of 2020 comes in.
This is where I decide to have hope anyway. To set a vision and create intentions to decide that I want to show up in the world with positivity, calmness, presence, and hope in spite of the fear, uncertainty, and insecurity. To be determined to live the life that I am meant to live…. true to myself, making a difference in the world, and creating the life that I believe in – even right in the middle of a chaotic, confusing year.
So, what do I want? How do I want to live? What kind of life will I create? How will I reimagine the rest of the year based on the lessons of the first half of 2020? Well… here are my thoughts + intentions.
- Slow. All of my days will be slow + mindful. That will be the energy, the vibe that radiates from my soul. Whether at work or at home. Whether in a moment of chaos or bliss.
- Nature. I follow her rhythms… living by the sun + moon, among the trees + flowers, feeling the weather, watching the leaves, allowing my life to follow the same flow.
- Meditative. A contemplative life isn’t something I do. It’s who I am + how I am. Instead of trying to find the best (and cheapest) teacher training program, I will simply create my own groups now. I have the experience, training, and desire. I’m creating where I am. By simply being me in the middle of my life.
- Home: I want it to be even more of a space of simplicity, comfort, sacred rest + gathering.
I know that much of this sounds very similar to the life I have often talked about… and in many ways, this is the life that I have been creating for the past few years now. However, with each passing year, I’ve learned to embody this slow, mystical life in rhythm with the seasons more and more. But, 2020 has deepened my calling to this way of life. By having so much time at home since 2020 began, I have practiced + embodied + truly lived more slowly + mindfully than ever before. And it’s just all been so natural. So, I must give credit to the chaos of this year for allowing me the unexpected (and, in the beginning, unwanted) space to really sink into contemplative living. It has ceased being a way want to live, and become simply the way I wake up + go through my day.
However, the challenge now is to reimagine the last few months of 2020. The bubble of summer + the first half of the year has broken. At least that is how it is for me. So, It is now time to bring this way of living literally out + about in the world. How will my outer life be different after so many months at home and on the other side of this very transformative + challenging first half of the year? Can I maintain the same sense of slowness – the way that my soul whispers to me to live?
For me, with work starting up again after summer, my time at home has ended. And it is obvious to me just how deeply I want to live so very slowly + intentionally. Even more slowly, mystically, and contemplatively than I ever imagined. For the past 6 months of so, I discovered just how much of a contemplative I am. And I found the rhythm of my life.
But, now I need to emerge from my home + return to my work. And I want to emerge still in alignment with the rhythm that aligns my soul with life.
So, now, I am reimagining how I can embody this life that I feel called to live out in the middle of my everyday work… especially my workplace. Now is the time to take all of the lessons of this first harvest of 2020 and live them. Now is the time to reimagine how to bring the energy of a slow, earth-based, mystical + contemplative way of life to every single moment + breath of my daily living.
Autumn is around the corner… but we’ve already entered the slow, downward descent into the most inward part of the year. The energy all around, should we decide to flow with it + align our lives with it, offers us the perfect setting to live mindfully, slowly, and in rhythm with our soul.
So, that is my intention for facing the rest of 2020. No matter what may come. That rhythm that I found by being forced to be home is a rhythm that I cannot escape, to be honest. It is the rhythm of the seasons, of nature, of my deepest essence.
This autumn, as the chaos of 2020 + of life in general swirl about, as I head back to my work space, as I face uncertainty + disappointment, as I continue to worry about the world… I will do it from the deep contemplative space of my soul. I will trust nature to show we the way + I will simply live in the present as best I can.
Here’s to facing it all… by living + breathing for today. xoxo. liz.