One of my very favorite days of the year — the summer solstice — began at 10pm (PDT) last night, ushering in the season of sunshine, cannonballs, fireflies, swimsuits, BBQs, skinny dipping, meals outside, nostalgia, and yes, health. Solstice celebrations are underway around the world, as Scandinavians sing, dance, and fill their bellies with herring and vodka…Europeans host bonfires and sprint naked around town…and New Yorkers head to Times Square to bust out a few sun salutations.
Now widely known as a party holiday, in ancient times, the solstice was an essential part of well-being (associated with agriculture + growth). I feel a sense of renewal every time the seasons change, but for me, this feeling is the strongest during the summer solstice when the sunshine on my back gives me a sense of optimism and hope and excitement and even peace. These quarterly milestones are a natural time to make a few commitments (some of mine include: eat dinner outside every night we can, train for and complete a half-ironman, master a forearm stand, teach the kids how to swim, rise early, get enough sleep, and make an annual summer pilgrimage to the Midwest, focus on impact at work)…if you’re into that commitment thing.
If you take a few minutes to think about your commitments today, here are a few questions to consider. And beyond these, I’d love to hear what other questions come up with!
- What could spice up my workout regimen? Trying a new class? Picking up a new sport? Finding a training partner? Signing up for an organized event?
- What foods make me feel good? Not just for a second, but for the whole day. How can I get more of those into my diet?
- Are there times during the day when it’s easiest for me to focus? How can I shift my day to do the most important things then?
- Who are the most important people in my life, and am I seeing them often enough? If not, how can I see more of them?
- Am I doing something every day to help another person? If not, how can I bring more attention to this?
- How well does my work — where I work, what I do, and who I work with — align with my life purpose/mission? If it feels misaligned, what’s one think I can do to make a change?
- Do I have something to look forward to during the next few months? If not, could I get something on the calendar?
- Where am I stuck, and how might I get UNSTUCK?
What are you doing to celebrate the solstice? Are you committing to anything new during the season of the sun?