This is Summer, and a Great Movement Lesson

A note from Carl

Greetings Friends,
Happy Summer to you! I’m toward the end of my week of solo parenting while Erin is on retreat in California. Always humbling, I offer a bow of awe and praise to all those rockin single moms and dads out there.
Ever since Erin introduced this video from her friend, Jovanna, a few years ago, the practice of “This is Summer” has become a deep source of nourishment and appreciation for our family. It is a three-minute video, and she provides a simple, elegant practice for really taking in the goodness of summer, taking in your life. 

This Is Summer
This Is Summer

I love the term Russell Delman uses, of how we are often doing a drive-by on our life.  Practices like this help me to get out of the fast-moving drive-by, and walk slowly, sauntering, savoring each step of summer. (It also carries over into “this is fall,” “this is winter,” “this is late spring..” “this is Boulder” “this is age 7…”) 
Summer can often have so much activity, so much speed- camps and travel and concerts and gatherings…a simple practice like this can shift me into a state of receptivity where time really opens up and the pull of momentum ceases. As Wayne Muller writes:

“If busyness can become a kind of violence, we do not have to stretch our perception very far to see that Sabbath time – effortless, nourishing rest – can invite a healing of this violence. When we consecrate a time to listen to the still, small voices, we remember the root of inner wisdom that makes work fruitful. We remember from where we are most deeply nourished, and see more clearly the shape and texture of the people and things before us.
Wayne Muller, Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives

I intend to deeply savor the watermelon, the caprese salads, the coolness of the canyons, the hum of the farmer’s market, the wildflowers at Alta, the clinking of glasses in porch gatherings, the wet, muddy children running through our house and so much more that is summer…

Speaking of savoring, here is a classic from someone who knows how to pause and take life in:

The Summer Day

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

—Mary Oliver


Along with opening space for pausing and appreciating summer, opening inner-space in the body can also help in the savoring of this time of year. Here is an audio link to an Awareness Through Movement lesson that can unwind tension in the back and shoulders and give a sense of length and spaciousness.

Enjoy!

Wishing you all the best in your summer.
Carl

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Erin

By training and profession, I am a somatic educator. Over the past 25+ years I have trained in and taught modern dance, tai chi, Indian and Tibetan yoga, yoga therapy (specializing in back pain). I completed a 4-year professional Feldenkrais training in 2007 and a 3-year Embodied Life training in 2014. I also study and work with somatic meditation and the profound practice of embodied inner listening known as Focusing.

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