Here I am at the end of yet another month – June. Half of this year is gone and we recently celebrated first day of summer. It is time for my monthly celebration, the time to take a mindful, better look at the month that will end soon, tracking the process of reaching my goals while remembering the moments that brought me joy.
I am really enjoying the process of training my brain to focus on the best parts of my month – it makes me be more aware, more present and more mindful of my feelings, my body and my habits. After all, “we are what we repeatedly do”. (Aristotle)
Now let’s get into my monthly highlights:
1. Father’s day and the trip to Gainesville
So happy my hubby and I were able to drive up to Gainesville to celebrate Father’s day with our son. It is always a celebration whenever we get together. My hubby and I genuinely enjoyed the 5 hour drive because we were able to spend that time talking to each other, joking, sharing a smoothie, remembering, planning for the future, and reading each other’s mind.
2. Yoga with Adriene
I recently discovered this YouTube channel and I started practicing yoga at home at least twice a week. Adriene is great! She is knowledgeable, kind and funny. The best part of all is that I don’t have to get dressed, leave the house and drive to any toga places. I do everything in the comfort of my home following her instructions. I also get to choose whatever exercise I want to practice: for tired legs, for spine, for core strength, or for focus and productivity. Besides truly, genuinely enjoying stretching and pushing my body, I also love practicing gratitude, calm and mindfulness during these exercises. The best part of these exercises is that I just have to “find what feels good” as Adriene always reminds me. I can also choose the length of the exercise, depending on how much time I can dedicate each day. This way, I have no excuse for saying no to yoga.
3. When Breath Becomes Air – by Paul Kalanithi
This is the heart-wrenching story of a young neurosurgeon who is diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer, a story that will have you thinking long after you finish reading the book. This book is valuable not only for the story it brings to you, but also for the answer it triggers in you, because you can’t just finish the book and forget about it. It is a subtle invitation to reflect on the purpose of life and on what makes life meaningful.
“Grand illnesses are supposed to be life-clarifying. Instead, I knew I was going to die—but I’d known that before. My state of knowledge was the same, but my ability to make lunch plans had been shot to hell. The way forward would seem obvious, if only I knew how many months or years I had left. Tell me three months, I’d spend time with family. Tell me one year, I’d write a book. Give me ten years, I’d get back to treating diseases. The truth that you live one day at a time didn’t help: What was I supposed to do with that day?”
4. My new favorite teas
As I’m trying to cut back on coffee, I recently bought some herbal teas to replace my everyday coffee. The lemongrass ginger tea has great anti inflammatory properties, antioxidants and a lovely flavor. The yerba matte tea contains a moderate amount of caffeine and it’s both energizing and nutritious, because it is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids. I can drink my teas hot with honey and lemon or iced as a perfect afternoon beverage.
5. Pixel Thoughts
A 60 second meditation tool that will give you a new perspective and much needed peace. While not at all complicated or spectacular, this meditation is amazingly calming. It prompts you to input what’s stressing you out and then it will ask you to relax while following the instructions on the screen. Through its calming music and relaxing words, it reminds you that life is larger than your everyday problems.
By the time I finished my 60 second meditation my negative thoughts faded away and I was smiling at the realization that I can choose the way I respond to any negative thoughts.
Looking back at these monthly highlights (and some others) fills me with gratitude for the little life gifts and for the goodness in my life.
How was your June? What made you happy? What made you smile? What will you remember about June?