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The Joy of a Warm Summer Day

The Awakened Heart Project.With An Open HeartThis post is part of The Awakened Heart Project

Week 21: The Joy of a Warm Summer Day  

The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.
― Thich Nhat Hanh


All I Want To Do Is Sit In The Sun 

I don’t know about you, but here in Minnesota, we’re really getting the start of spring and summer these days. Sure it’s been raining quite a bit this week, but when it’s not, and the sun is shining, there is nothing I want to do more than to be outside. I don’t always find the time to write these posts prior to Monday’s, so sometimes I find myself feeling very conflicted without my time. Today, I spent some time this morning putting together the patio table and chairs for the deck just so I could type outside. Right now it’s sunny and beautiful but come this afternoon, storms will be back in the sky.

What’s the point of me telling you this you ask? Every chance you get to do something that brings you peace, happiness, and joy, you should take it. A moment outside might seem insignificant, especially if you live somewhere where the seasons don’t change, but for me it’s incredibly important. I NEED the sun. My body, mind, and spirit instantly feel reconnected and exuberated when I’m outside and the sun is shinning. The warmth on my skin brings me soo much comfort. It’s almost hard for me to explain the affinity I have for hot summer days; there is just something about it that overwhelms me with happiness. I’m especially grateful today as I know rain will soon be upon me.

Life's beautiful notice it

Every one of us will have different things that will cultivate these joyous feelings I just described. Perhaps you’re the opposite, and long for those snowy winter days. Perhaps you love the rain (I do love a good thunderstorm). What brings you joy may have nothing to do with the weather either. The point is this: become aware of what makes you feel warmth inside and joy, and be present in those moments.

Presence allows you to turn off everything else and “just be”. Your increased awareness allows you to feel, see, and sense everything around you. As I take a moment to just sit, I feel the sun’s warmth on my cheek and arms; I hear many different birds chirping; I see the ripples of water in the pool, I notice the slow movement of the clouds in the blue sky, I feel the gentle breeze move slowly across my body. It’s beautiful and it’s peaceful here. I feel calm and awake.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” 

―Albert Einstein 

warm summer day

It’s far to easy to slip away into our minds and get lost. Most of us probably spend the bulk of our days lost in our minds, unaware of the world that exists in front of us, and the changes that are occurring within us. For our reflection this week, I challenge you today, and this week to practice self-awareness, and to seek out the things that bring you joy and peace; and when you find it, sit in the moment and notice the world around you. Journal about what you heard, saw and felt. Try and reflect on what it is you often miss in each passing moment without being present.

Some Benefits of a Mindfulness Practice

1. Mindfulness distracts us from habitual thought patterns – which keep us stuck, and generally lead nowhere.

2. Mindfulness takes us out of ourselves (so we stop thinking about our anxieties, pains, the people in our lives …. And anything that is, basically, “me-focused”).

3. Mindfulness turns the boring and ordinary into something that has meaning, or serves a worthwhile purpose. It is living in the moment with intentionality and curiosity.

4. Mindfulness frees us from the weight of judgment, or the fear of humiliation and shame.

5. Mindfulness enables us to make wise choices, as our thinking is clearer, non-reactive and unbiased.

6. Mindfulness opens our hearts and minds so we can give and receive in relationships.

This list provided via onlinecounsellingcollege:

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The Awakened Heart Project 

Registration for The Awakened Heart Project is closed for the year. However, follow the blog for the opportunity to participate in 2014. With An Open Heart will be going through some major changes in the coming months! Stay tuned!!!

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