Summertime is entering its peak here in the Northern Hemisphere. For many of us holidays are approaching, or are already ongoing, and we are ready to welcome a well-deserved break from working routines.
But even if this is for you a time of work, Summer brings often a change in pace in our daily rhythm.
This post wants to accompany you in this special time and be an invitation to experience and take away the best from these weeks of interruption of your annual routines, indulge in what you love more and, eventually, bring more of what you love about yourself and your way of being back with you, at the end of the season.
Why such an intention for this Summer?
When it comes to grand plans and setting intentions we all have indeed different approaches.
Some of us, maybe a majority, feel the moment is most appropriate for these reflections towards the end of the calendar year and the beginning of the new one. It's because we feel motivated by the enthusiasm of new beginnings and fresh start that the new year’s eve seems to offer.
Others prefer engaging in this kind of exercise quite regularly and periodically over the year, and others yet feel the summer period as a perfectly fit time to envision and strategize.
For them September is a cradle of opportunities, promises and new possibilities.
Having matured along the years most of my important decisions over Summer and brought them often to reality in Autumn I seem to belong to this last group. I also revise and renew my priorities and goals regularly along the year, but apparently goal-setting comes more naturally to me when time slows down while lying in a hammock rocked by the sea breeze or swimming under the warm sun.
The time of pleasure
There are two main reasons why I find Summer a perfectly fit moment for this kind of introspective work.
A first one is linked to the change in pace (often through slowing down our daily rhythm) I mentioned before, and the length of this break from our working routines.
In general we can benefit of longer interruptions in Summer compared to the end-of-year holidays, which gives more opportunities to mentally take distance from habitual patterns, and to indulge in whatever different thing we are engaging into.
The second reason, and most important to me, is Pleasure.
Summer is for me, and for many, the season of fun and pleasurable pastimes, the season of happy memories and delightful gatherings, may they be with family or friends, with your loved one or as solo time.
This aspect makes summertime goal-setting a special, and potentially different, exercise.
Think of it.
The goal-setting exercise we engage in when we count on the momentum created by the new year’s beginnings, is often a mind-based practice.
Our thinking and mental willpower are in the driving seat. We focus on what we want to achieve, on the result, on the plan to get there, and we set milestones and intermediate goals along the way to keep us motivated and focused. This is mainly a rational process.
But when we engage in this exercise during Summer, we can easily enter a different tempo where pleasure and pleasurable sensations are in the lead. This pattern naturally shifts our focus from one on achieving the final result to one of enjoying the process along the way.
Why does this matter? Because pleasure is an incredibly powerful engine of intentional action and of fulfillment, and when it comes to setting sustainable goals for our future self, goals that we are likely to meet and habits that we are likely to maintain over time, we are actually talking about intentionality, inner drivers and self-realization.
When we set our intentions from a place of connection with our positive sensations (our intelligence of the heart and of the body) we naturally feel aligned with these intentions and we intuitively know that we CAN do what we envision, because we are energized at the idea to make it possible.
It’s a radically different process from setting intentions from a head-driven place.
When we move from a mental/thinking space our vision is naturally more cautious, more “reasonable”, more doable, this is the domain of SMART goals and action plans…but at the same time it's also the realm of our assumptions, of the stories we tell ourselves about what we can and cannot do, the dimension of our fears, doubts and limitations.
What happens to the vision, the purpose, the dreams, when we define them from this place?
Without the connection to pleasure, we risk jumping directly to the HOW I reach my goal (preferably a reasonably reachable one) without having pondered enough WHY I want this to happen and WHAT goal I really want to see realized.
So the starting point, the place from where we envision, the state in which we are when we set objectives, all of this matters. A lot.
Being aware of these different paths and modalities gives us more room for manoeuvre, more consciousness in our decision-making, more agility in choosing what approach is most appropriate, when, and for what purpose.
Make your Summer a vision time
So, let’s come back to Summer, this extraordinary time for reconnecting with pleasure and with what makes us feel alive, energized, and renewed.
Have you noticed how easy it is to re-live childhood pleasures during Summer holidays?
Close your eyes and feel the warm sand under your knees while you were building a castle on the shore, the fresh water of the river where you were fishing with your grandpa, the breeze on your shoulders while sailing with your father, the sunscreen cream your mother spread on your back to protect you...just let your memories play.
For real or in your mind eye, re-experiencing these positive sensations of our young age is a powerful practice to reconnect with a source of energy which resides deeply inside of us.
As children we learn while playing and while having pleasure. We do not play to learn, but while we only look for pleasure and fun, learning and development do happen in that space. That's the power of the energetic state we live into when we dwell in pleasure
So here my invitation to you.
Look for this source of energy and aliveness. With intention.
Look for the pleasure in what you choose to do.
And move from there to (re)design your daily life, once you’re back from your Summer break.
You will surely need, and will have, a time for analysing, planning, and structuring. And there's immense value in it. But let it be a later phase, one that supports your vision, not one that limits it.
To your most intentional Summer!
I’m Alessia D’Acunto, Transformation, Self-Empowerment and Leadership Coach.
I help you to connect to the power of your whole mind, body-intelligence and soul-purpose so to thrive in your personal and professional life with confidence, authenticity, and grace.
Ready for a deep dive into your powerful self?