Summer greetings! I know we have a few days before the Solstice, but it's already feeling like summer. The sun is high in the sky, temps are rising, and we may feel that lift in energy which often accompanies the increased light. This time of year, we all seem to come out of our homes and work in the garden, head to the river or enjoy a vacation. As we are at the tail end of COVID, this summer may feel a little more "normal" than last year. Perhaps that brightens one's mood as well. Something that has brought me feelings of happiness lately is my niece completed an intensive EMT program at Santa Rosa Junior College and is on her way towards her goal of becoming a Fire Medic. I couldn't be more proud of her. Another thing that brings me joy is spending time with Tony, my love. We spent a few days in Mendocino last month for his birthday, and lately we've been organizing and adding some special touches to our new home and garden. I love sharing this life with him.
In A Butterfly Life I talk about how people tend to view success in terms of money, job title, having a big house, expensive car, or the like. But we all know having these things can still leave us feeling unfulfilled. Perhaps a better gauge of success is simply happiness. I can easily say I am happy. That hasn't always been the case, but it is now, thankfully. One concept I've found very helpful in regard to happiness is Be-Do-Have. Be who you are ‒ competent, creative, strong and caring ‒ and do what you enjoy, whether through your work or hobbies. When we do, we feel more happy and fulfilled. That, interestingly enough, attracts abundance ‒ have. It's as if the universe conspires to bring you what you desire when you're living authentically. Since I've put into practice this concept of Be-Do-Have and happiness as success, life has opened up. As we bring our happy selves into summer, remember to include activities that get the body moving! Hiking, kayaking, dancing, mountain biking and swimming are some ways to stay healthy and put a smile on your face. Adding movement in our everyday activities is also effective for increased well-being. Simple Tip: We might notice how much we shuffle our feet when we walk. We shuffle in the kitchen, shuffle around in the garage, shuffle down the aisles of the grocery store, shuffle from place to place at work. However, it feels great to bend our knees! It can help release tension in the low back, along with strengthen the legs and core, and it feels less sluggish and more energized. At any moment during the day, we can break out of our routine shuffle and add a few squats or knee lifts. I enjoy doing walking lunges in the kitchen while I'm waiting for something to cook, or adding a yoga squat while pulling weeds in the backyard. What creative ways can you discover to bend those knees?
Wishing you happiness and vibrant health! Kristi Bowman
*Kristi photos by In Her Image Photography*